COBB, Calif. (AP) — Within 12 hours of igniting, a wildfire burning north of San Francisco had swallowed up more than 60 square miles of land, injured four firefighters and burned highways and buildings, prompting an emergency declaration and forcing thousands to flee.
The fire in Lake County erupted Saturday afternoon and rapidly chewed through brush and trees parched from several years of drought, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. Entire towns as well as residents along a 35-mile stretch of highway were evacuated. Sunday's emergency declaration frees up resources for the blaze.
The firefighters, all members of a helicopter crew, were airlifted to a hospital burn unit, where they were being treated for second-degree burns and were listed in stable condition, department spokesman Daniel Berlant said.
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