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California devastating fire traps campers in national forest



Dozens of people were captured by wildfire at a campground in Northern California where they were forced to seek refuge on Saturday as the fire raged nearby, authorities said.

The 36,000 acre Creek Fire kept approximately 150 people in Mammoth Pool Reservoir in the Sierra National Forest, the Madera County Sheriff’s office tweeted. Ten people were injured.

“Everyone is safe at this point,” it said.

The fire had cracked a river and put the only road into Mammoth Pool Campground at risk, Dan Tune, a National Forest spokesman, told The Associated Press.

It was one of three fires Californians welcomed at the start of Labor Day weekend, fueled by a heat wave that hit triple-digit record temperatures during the traditional summer vacation.

The Creek Fire led to evacuations in two counties, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the US Forest Service said.

The fire was fueled by dead trees killed by drought and bugs feeding on bark, said Lynne Tolmachoff, a Cal Fire spokeswoman. “There are a lot of dead trees in this area,”

; she said.

In southern California, the El Dorado Fire burned about 1,500 acres in San Bernardino County and the Valley Fire burned another 1,500 acres in San Diego County, officials from Cal Fire and the US Forest Service said.

Record temperatures were measured across southern California and Las Vegas, hitting a record high of 112 on September 5, according to the National Weather Service. The midnight temperature in Las Vegas was 91, the agency said.

Death Valley hit 125, a record for September, the NWS said.

Other record highs were recorded in El Cajon, San Diego County (114), Santa Ana, Orange County (110), and Burbank, Los Angeles County (114). Further north, Napa (102), Gilroy (106) and King City (105) hit records for the date, the weather service said.

The state’s final heat wave in mid-August coincided with two of its largest fires in history.

Those fires, the 396,624-acre SCU Lightning Complex, named for Cal Fire’s Santa Clara Unit, and the 375,209-acre LNU Lightning Complex, named for the Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, were nearly 90 percent contained on Saturday.




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