Northern CA wildfire threatens 500 buildings

BRIDGEPORT, California (AP) – A wildfire that broke out in Northern California forced evacuations because it threatened about 500 homes and other buildings Tuesday, authorities said.

The Rices fire broke out around 2 p.m. near the Yuba River in Nevada County and spread to more than 500 acres (202 acres) by nightfall, said unit chief Brian Estes of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The flames also threatened power lines, water supply systems and a state park, Estes said.

The rural area is in the Sierra Nevada, northeast of Sacramento and about halfway between the state capital and the Nevada border.

Authorities earlier said the blaze started with a burning building and the flames spread to nearby dry vegetation.

At an evening news conference, however, Estes said he could not confirm reports that some buildings had been destroyed.

About 350 buildings and other buildings were under evacuation orders, said Shannan Moon, sheriff of the province.

Firefighters battled the blaze on the ground and in the air, with planes making dozens of drops of water and fire retardant.

The fire was one of several in Northern California that flared up Tuesday when the state swelled under summer heat, with temperatures in the Rices Fire area hitting as high as 98 F (36.6 C) with low humidity.

A fire that broke out in San Luis Obispo County on Tuesday morning burned through grass and bushes. It threatened about 50 buildings, but no damage or injuries were reported and the fire was 25% contained, firefighters said.

In Glenn County, a fire that charred more than 300 acres (121 acres) was 65% under control.

Another fire near Davis, west of Sacramento, was contained without building damage or injuries after burning 500 acres (202 acres), authorities said.

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