Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

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California wildfire destroys 8 homes; others rage

COLLINSVILLE, Calif. — A fire tore through a Northern California community, destroying eight homes and damaging three more over the holiday weekend that has firefighters throughout California hard at work.

Nobody was injured in the Friday afternoon blaze in the small community of Collinsville along the Sacramento River, about 60 miles east of San Francisco, Chief Joe Rosewall of the Montezuma Fire District in Solano County said Saturday.

The fire is out, but 25 residents are without homes and it caused an estimated $2.5 million in damage, Rosewall said.

State fire officials say they were battling several fires throughout California and expect dry conditions to keep them busy over the July 4 weekend. The blazes have led to injuries of some firefighters, destruction of homes, evacuations and cancellation of some July 4 events.

Also in Northern California, the Monticello Fire in Yolo County started Friday afternoon and has consumed nearly 8 square miles on the southeast shore of Lake Barryessa, about an hour west of Sacramento. At least 50 homes had been evacuated, and the fire is 15 percent contained, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

The Butts Fire in Napa and Lake counties northwest of Lake Barryessa started Tuesday and has burned nearly 7 square miles. The flames led to minor injuries of three firefighters and destroyed two homes, state fire officials said. It was 70 percent contained.

In Southern California, a fire near the mountain town of Julian that had destroyed two homes was 90 percent contained Saturday after burning about 220 acres.

Four firefighters were injured, state fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser said. The extent of their injuries wasn't immediately clear, and the cause of the fire in central San Diego County was under investigation.

It broke out Thursday, prompting the mandatory evacuation of 200 homes and forcing the cancellation of the town's Fourth of July parade and celebration.

The lingering threat of the fire and the need to use roads for the firefight forced the city to take the year off from the festive celebration that usually draws 3,000 to 5,000 people.

State fire officials said they were bracing for more fires over the next couple of days.

"The holiday weekend is in full swing," Berlant said. "There's still a potential for more fires if the public is not careful."

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