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Evacuations ordered in 1,000-acre Saddle fire in Northern California

Fire started by lightning scorched 1,000 acres in Northern California

A raging Northern California wildfire sparked by lightning has scorched 1,000 acres and prompted mandatory evacuations because of weather forecasts.

The Saddle fire started about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, northwest of Hyampom, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It was sparked in a lightning storm brought on by remnants of Tropical Storm Blanca, and firefighters have not been able to contain it.

The fast-moving fire ran uphill Thursday, consuming logs and tall grass as it moved southwest.

The Trinity County Sheriff’s Department ordered evacuations for residents who live along Lower South Fork Road, north of Big Slide Campground to Manzanita Ranch. Hyampom residents were under advisory evacuation.

An evacuation center was set up at Hayfork High School.

Fire officials say they are concerned about a high-pressure system that will be building over the blaze for the next seven days, likely bringing north winds.

Warm temperatures Friday could break previously set records, according to the National Forest Service. The heat comes two days after rain, hail and lightning in the area.

At least 160 firefighters are working to construct a fire line around the blaze to protect homes.

Earlier this week, Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said firefighters were battling nearly 60 blazes started by more than 2,500 lightning strikes.

The wildfires, mostly small, burned across seven forests in remote areas in Northern California.

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