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Two Wildfires Burning In Lake County

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LAKEPORT (CBS13/AP) — Two wildfires that sparked in Lake County have grown rapidly in the extreme heat and forced evacuations.

The Wye Fire is the larger of the two fires burning through 3,000 acres as of Monday night, according to Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant. Cal Fire says the fire started Sunday just before 4 p.m. and quickly grew out of control. It was burning on both sides of Highway 20 near the Highway 53 intersection.

A mandatory evacuation order was put in place for Spring Valley as Cal Fire deployed air and ground crews to fight the blaze. Residents were being allowed to return home at 8 p.m. Monday, Berlant said.

As of Monday evening, it was still only 25 percent contained.

The second fire, the Walker Fire, at state Highway 20 and Walker Ridge near the border with Colusa County, was reported at 3:49 p.m. Sunday. It has since burned about 2,000 acres and was 30 percent contained as of 9 p.m.

That fire prompted the evacuation of a nearby resort, Wilbur Hot Springs, located at 3375 Wilbur Springs Road near the town of Williams.

Hutchinson said a firefighter responding to the Walker Fire suffered injuries in the blaze. An update on that firefighter’s condition was not immediately available Monday morning.

Three buildings have burned and two people were treated for minor injuries.

There appears to be no end in sight for either fire as thousands of acres of dry brush continued to burn and fire officials have requested for multiple air tankers and helicopters to help.

Berlant said that the fires are fueled by triple-digit temperatures and slight winds.

“As we’ve seen over the last few weeks, the conditions remain critically dry and, with this latest heat wave, the temperatures certainly aren’t helping,” Berlant said. “We just have not had enough rainfall.”

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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