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Wildfire in California Gold Country Grows Overnight

The Walker Fire (Photo by U.S. Forest Service – Plumas National Forest)

QUINCY (AP) — A massive wildfire in a remote area of California’s gold country grew overnight.

The Walker Fire, just 11 miles east of the community of Taylorsville, was 44,307 acres by Monday night.

The U.S. Forest Service said containment on the blaze in the Plumas National Forest was at 10%.

Erratic winds were making conditions difficult for the more than 800 firefighters battling the blaze.

Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for scattered rural properties in the forest, the forest service said.

To the west in Tehama County, fire crews have contained 55% of the Red Bank Fire, which has destroyed two structures and burned more than 8,800 acres. The blaze started by lighting Thursday has burned through brush and timber west of Red Bluff. It led to mandatory evacuations that have since been lifted.

The Swedes Fire has also destroyed two structures. By Monday night, the wildfire east of Oroville was 55% contained and remained at 400 acres.

Further south, a fire along the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada southwest of Big Pine grew significantly to 10,500 acres and was 30% contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Monday. The fire erupted Wednesday evening about 200 miles (322 kilometers) north of Los Angeles and the cause is under investigation. Some parts of Big Pine Canyon were under mandatory evacuation orders.

The fire trapped some campers who had to be airlifted to safety Sunday. Four cars were burned at the trailhead, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

A fire that threatened homes in the Murrieta area of Southern California last week was 90% contained.

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