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From Castaic to Chico, small fires trigger evacuations across the state

From Castaic to Chico, small fires trigger evacuations across the state
Firefighters have reached 30% containment on the Charlie fire near Santa Clarita. (Los Angeles County Fire Department)

As crews continue to battle blazes across California, one firefighter was taken to a local hospital for heat-related injuries received in the Charlie fire, officials said Monday morning, and two other fires forced evacuations in the state.

While acreage stayed the same on the 3,400-acre Charlie fire throughout Sunday, firefighters reached 30% containment, up from 10% Sunday morning. The blaze started Saturday afternoon in the Castaic area, prompting road closures and evacuations.

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San Francisquito Canyon Road, where between 20 and 30 homes had been evacuated, reopened Monday morning, but part of Lake Hughes Road was still closed.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department said he didn’t have information about the severity of the injuries suffered by one of the firefighters battling the blaze.

Farther to the north, residents of the Oakhurst area — to the south of Yosemite National Forest, where the Ferguson fire burned through 96,901 acres this summer — are monitoring another wildfire.

The much-smaller Oak fire, which has burned about 400 acres and was 45% contained Monday morning, currently poses no threat to Yosemite National Park, said Jaime Williams, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The blaze is burning mostly in the Sierra National Forest.

“Firefighters are making good progress,” Williams said. “They continue to work hard to increase containment and strengthen containment lines. The fire is burning in steep rugged terrain hit hard by tree mortality, so it’s a major hazard for firefighters.”

Severe drought has caused many of the area’s trees to die, so falling timber and branches are a constant threat to those battling the flames, she said. Hot, dry weather with low humidity is expected to persist over the next few days.

The area along Road 620 was reopened, but the Tinder Loft and Cedar Brook communities, as well as the Lone Sequoia Campground, remain under mandatory evacuations. Williams said she didn’t know how many homes were threatened but said the fire hasn’t caused any structure damage.

Northeast of Chico, a brush fire that broke out overnight is threatening homes near the towns of Magalia and Centerville in Butte County. The 25-acre fire began about 12:30 a.m., and fire officials are seeking more resources to battle the blaze, which had no containment late Monday morning, Cal Fire spokesman John Gaddie said.

An evacuation warning was issued for Nimshew Road between Ponderosa and Daly Mine Road, and for Centerville Road between Nimshew Down Canyon and Nimshew Run Lane. The fire is burning in steep terrain with heavy brush. It was unclear how many homes were under threat from the latest blaze.

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