California wildfires claim 13 homes

PLYMOUTH, California (AP)

Wildfires burning near Northern California vineyards and in the Yosemite National Park area were threatening hundreds of homes even as crews worked to contain them.

A blaze in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento was 50 percent surrounded by firefighters as of late Sunday, after burning 13 homes and 38 outbuildings. It has scorched roughly 6 square miles (15 square kilometers) of rugged grassland and timber near wine-growing regions.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement that about 515 homes remained threatened and under evacuation orders.

The fire started Friday when a vehicle drove over vegetation that is tinder-dry from years of drought.

About 1,900 firefighters, aided by aircraft including a DC-10 air tanker, were working to control the blaze.

The fire destroyed homes, cabins and a collection of 13 antique cars that a man was restoring in the town of Plymouth, the Sacramento Bee reported.

In Central California, a fire near the popular tourist destination of Yosemite National Park had spread to about 4 square miles (10 square kilometers) and continued to threaten the small town of Foresta, where it destroyed one home.

The park itself, home to such sites as Half Dome mountain, Yosemite Meadows, a grove of Giant Sequoia trees and other wonders, remained open throughout Sunday and authorities said none of its treasures were threatened.

Wildfires also burned in other Western states, including Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Utah.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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