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Northern California wildfire doubles in size; 2nd fire burns in Yosemite

A Northern California fire has grown to more than 3,000 acres and destroyed five homes

A Northern California wildfire that has forced the evacuation of about 1,200 people has more than doubled in size, and a new fire threatens homes in Yosemite National Park.

As of Saturday evening the Sand Fire had burned more than 3,000 acres, or about 4 1/2 square miles, near the border of Amador and El Dorado counties. The fire destroyed five homes and seven small structures, said Lynne Tolmachoff, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The fire was 20% contained, Tolmachoff said.

The fire broke out Friday about 4:30 p.m. on San Ridge Road off California 49. It crossed the Cosumnes River into dry territory and began to pick up speed, Tolmachoff said. The blaze may have been ignited by a burned car near the riverbed.

Fire authorities said about 515 homes had been evacuated.

A fire in Yosemite that has grown to more than 500 acres has forced the evacuations of about 45 homes in the community of Foresta and six homes outside the park, said Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb.

The fire, which started about 2 p.m. near the park’s border, continues to make its way toward the homes, Cobb said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and no structures have been damaged.

Foresta Road and Crane Creek Road are closed at California 140, the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office tweeted. California 120 is also closed at California 140 and Crane Flat.

Red Cross shelters were being set up at the Groveland Community Center, 18583 Main St. in Groveland.

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