California wildfires destroy homes, force thousands to evacuate

June 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
High winds are stoking the flames of wildfires across Northern California that have destroyed dozens of homes and forced out thousands of residents. One blaze about 90 miles north of Sacramento has charred about 23,000 acres so far and is only about 35 percent contained. The Butte County town of Paradise has been evacuated in light of the approaching flames.

The fire has contributed to at least one death. An elderly woman died of a heart attack while evacuating. Five firefighters have been hurt.

Elsewhere, firefighters have about three-quarters of a 600-acre wildfire under control in Santa Cruz County.

Farther south, another wildfire has scorched nearly 25,000 acres in the Los Padres National Forest in Monterey County. It was nearly 40 percent contained yesterday.

The causes of all the blazes remain under investigation.