SONORA (AP) — More than 200 firefighters are battling a grass and woodland fire in the central Sierra foothills that has already destroyed two homes.
State fire officials say the small but fast-moving fire has also burned an outbuilding, a pickup, three recreational vehicles and two cars since it began in a subdivision about five miles east of the Tuolumne County city of Sonora on Tuesday. Fire crews were able to save dozens of other homes.
The 30-acre Armario Fire is 65 percent contained with crews aiming for full containment by Thursday night.
The blaze is one of at least 11 wildfires in the state, including the Paiute Fire in Sequoia National Forest. That has consumed 1,800 acres since it began on Saturday. It is 50 percent contained.
Man arrested in teen's
heroin overdose death
WOODLAND HILLS (AP) — Los Angeles police have arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of administering a fatal dose of heroin to a 13-year-old boy in Woodland Hills.
Authorities said Thursday that Brett Cronin was arrested Wednesday at the same home where the boy's body was discovered that morning.
Homicide detectives said the teen died under suspicious circumstances. Cronin was booked for investigation of murder and was being held on $1 million bail.
1,000-plus file claims
against Chevron refinery
RICHMOND (AP) — More than 1,000 people blaming this week's California refinery fire for sore throats and other ailments are asking an attorney to help them get a payout for their suffering from Chevron Corp.
Another 1,000 people that contacted Chevron directly are being helped at a downtown Richmond storefront set up by the San Ramon-based petroleum company.
Attorney Nick Haney posted a sign two days after Monday's smoky refinery blaze that reads "File Chevron Claims Here."
More than 1,000 people lured by the promise of a few hundred dollars showed up on Wednesday.
They are complaining of coughs, nausea, scratchy throats and psychological trauma.
Haney's five assistants were on the sidewalk asking people to fill out paperwork and show proof they had seen a doctor.
Man sentenced to 311
years in BBQ shooting
CLEARLAKE (AP) — A man convicted in a shooting at a backyard barbecue in Northern California that killed a 4-year-old boy and wounded five others has been sentenced to 311 years to life in prison.
Judge Doris Shockley called the shooting "callous" and "nonsensical," as she issued the sentence against 24-year-old Orlando Lopez on Tuesday in a Lake County courtroom.
Lopez was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges in the June 2011 shooting in Clearlake. Authorities say he and 22-year-old Paul Braden fired shotguns from a neighbor's yard at people attending the barbecue. Four-year-old Skyler Rapp died. Five adults, including the boy's mother, were wounded.