Big fires extension forced evacuations in California

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Two fires wich were thought to be under control early in the week, with containment expected by July 8, in California, known as Beckwourth Complex, exploded again prompting evacuations in a large area and a closure of part of the Plumas National Forest. The complex contains the Dotta Fire, which started June 30, and the Sugar Fire, which started July 2, both due to lightning strikes. The Sugar Fire grew nearly eight times in size on Thursday and expanded out of control. Siskiyou County’s Lava Fire currently holds the title of California’s largest wildfire this season, at 25,159 acres and 70% containment as of Friday morning. The complex is burning in eastern Plumas and Lassen counties. Officials were considering closing Highway 395, a popular route with tourists heading to Reno. Multiple other roadways, including state route 284, were closed because of the fire.A nearby rail line was also being threatened, forest service spokeswoman Lisa Cox added later.

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It was 94 degrees Friday in Beckwourth, about 55 miles north of Lake Tahoe. An excessive heat was warning was scheduled to take effect Saturday at noon through Monday night. The U.S. Forest Service predicted in an incident report that by Saturday “fire activity will increase.” On Thursday Gov. Gavin Newsom called on residents Thursday to cut back water consumption by 15 percent amid a statewide drought and far-reaching heat wave.