A fire at the northern edge of California exploded overnight as firefighters mounted a pitched battle to prevent the flames from destroying more homes.
The Klamathon fire was burning in Siskiyou County near the Oregon border and has consumed 21,000 acres and destroyed 15 structures. One death has been attributed to the fire, but few details were immediately available.
Cal Fire said in a statement that “extreme fire behavior” has the blaze moving in multiple directions and that there were fears it could spread into the Klamath National Forest, the Rogue River, the Siskiyou National Forest and into Oregon.
Several communities have been evacuated and an evacuation center was set up at Jackson Street School in Yreka.
Interstate 5 was closed for a time but has since reopened. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the interstate “remains threatened.”