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Crews Making Progress Battling NorCal Wildfires

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS13/AP) — Hundreds of evacuees have been allowed to return home as crews are continuing to make progress against a Lake County wildfire that has now grown to about 7 square miles.

State fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said Tuesday that the Wye Fire is now 30 percent contained after threatening nearly 500 homes in Spring Valley. Those homeowners were allowed to return home Monday night.

The fire is burning on both sides of Highway 20 east of Highway 53 through steep canyons. It had consumed 7,000 acres as of Tuesday evening and was 60 percent contained.

“Overnight even though the temperatures were relatively cooler, the fire made a lot of active runs. In fact, it grew about a 1,000 acres,” Berlant said. “Today we’re expecting high temperatures and the potential for this fire to continue to burn towards the east.”

Berlant said while the more than 1,100 firefighters at the scene are putting out hot spots, they still faced with dry conditions and near 100 degree temperatures.

“It’s been the heat, not the winds,” Berlant said. “There’s almost zero moisture inside the brush which hasn’t burned in decades. It’s very thick and overgrown.”

A home and two structures have been destroyed in the fire, officials said.

Meanwhile in far Northern California, the Chips Fire in the Plumas National Forest is threatening about 900 homes and has prompted some evacuation orders in the Seneca and Rush Creek communities.

The fire has burned about 57 square miles. It is 12 percent contained.

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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