REDDING (AP) — Firefighters gained the upper hand Tuesday on a wildfire in Northern California that destroyed 30 homes and forced about 600 people out of their homes, fire officials said.
The Clover Fire broke out Monday near the rural community of Happy Valley in Shasta County and was quickly fanned by gusty winds, growing to more than 11 square miles. However, lighter winds on Tuesday allowed firefighters to focus on corralling the blaze.
"The fire is not doing much and that is what we call very good news," California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Mike Witesman said.
Officials said that at its peak, the flames spread at 500 acres an hour.
Some residents were given just minutes to evacuate as the fire jumped roads and engulfed residences.
Ty Romero, who lost his home, told the newspaper that he and his uncle quickly loaded a truck and fled as flames approached. They took two dogs but a third was missing.
"It wasn't even 10 minutes," he said. "I know a lot of the houses in the area burned."
Along with the homes, 50 outbuildings were destroyed and another 30 structures, mostly homes, were damaged, Witesman said. About 300 homes remained threatened.
More than 1,100 firefighters were battling the blaze about 150 miles north of Sacramento. Three of them suffered minor injuries, and a resident was treated for smoke inhalation.
The fire was 40 percent contained. The cause was under investigation.
Gov. Jerry Brown secured a federal grant to help agencies pay for the cost of the Clover Fire.
Elsewhere, more than 3,000 firefighters were still battling the Rim Fire that has burned across nearly 400 square miles in and around Yosemite National Park. The cost of the effort has reportedly reached $100 million since it erupted on Aug. 17.
Authorities said the blaze was 80 percent contained after being caused by a hunter's campfire. It has destroyed nearly a dozen homes and almost 100 outbuildings.
Meanwhile, a fire burning in a San Francisco Bay Area wilderness park appeared to be under control.
Crews made progress overnight against the fire in Mount Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County, more than doubling containment and reducing the number of threatened homes to 75.
The fire was 45 percent contained, up from 20 percent the previous night, and had burned a little more than 5 square miles. That number was lowered from the previous day because of better mapping.
State fire spokesman Steve Kaufmann said the fire isn't showing much active behavior.