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Town Evacuated as Fire Consumes 2,300 Acres

From Associated Press

Firefighters on Saturday continued to battle a fire that burned 2,300 acres, injured three people, destroyed 30 structures and forced the evacuation of this small Northern California town.

As of Saturday night, more than 1,700 firefighters were battling the blaze, which started about 3 p.m. Friday.

Flames moving north and east had threatened the town of Viola, about 45 miles from Red Bluff, but dying winds helped firefighters hold back the fast-moving blaze, said Elmer Benson, fire information officer for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

“The forward progress has stopped, and they’ve held it all day ... so we don’t expect it to go on,” Benson said.

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By Saturday night, the fire was 30% contained, and full containment was expected by Monday morning.

The cause of the blaze remained unknown. Fire officials said it was man-made, but they have ruled out arson.

Evacuation centers were established in Red Bluff and Shingletown.

Three people fighting the blaze suffered minor injuries.

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