UPDATE: 9 Wildfires are Burning in California

August 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two of the largest are in Northern California in Santa Cruz and Yuba counties.A fire in Santa Barbara County has been burning for more than a week now and more than 230 homes are still under evacuation orders. The La Brea Fire has burned about 76,000 acres and it's still moving fast on the southeastern edge. Firefighters have slowed it down on the eastern edge, which is where it was threatening most of the homes and ranches where people live.

Friday, some residents in the area were told to leave their homes. But the good news is none have burned so far.

The Yuba fire north of Sacramento has forced evacuations at 120 homes and knocked out power in the foothills town of Dobbins. Cal Fire said it covers about 1,000 acres and they've called in help from a DC-10 air tanker, as well as ground crews. Some of the evacuated residents may be allowed back in their homes today, though, because containment is up to 35 percent.

One fire that could impact us here directly in the Valley is the Corral Fire burning in San Joaquin County. That fire is near the town of Tracy and burning along Interstate 5 and Interstate 580. Fire officials have said if it moves closer to the two interstates, it could shut them down. That would affect Valley commuters who use the popular Altamont Pass to get to and from San Francisco.

"When you get the winds like this and they push the smoke over it, the visibility will be cut down to zero," said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Ken McGeev.

CHP and Cal Fire officials say they're monitoring the situation carefully to determine whether the interstates will need to be closed.

The Corral Fire along the Altamont Pass has grown to 23 square miles and it's not showing signs of slowing down. The wind-whipped fire is a lower priority because it's only threatening one home, but it's burned up 15,000 acres and it's only 20 percent contained.

The Lockheed Fire in Santa Cruz County is one that seems to have fire officials most concerned. It's closing in on several communities in the area including the town of Bonny Doon.

Governor Schwarzenegger will visit the area today to get an update on firefighting efforts. He's been on the East Coast all week after his mother-in-law passed away. Cal Fire officials will brief him on the fire that's still burning out of control.

1,000 homes are threatened by the Lockheed fire as of Saturday morning.

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