- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

POLLOCK PINES, Calif. (AP) - A massive California wildfire that burned more than 150 square miles, destroyed a dozen houses and drove thousands from their homes has finally been fully contained nearly a month after it broke out.

The U.S. Forest Service says in a statement that after a “grueling month” for firefighters, the so-called King Fire 60 miles northeast of Sacramento was 100 percent surrounded Thursday.

The 97,000-acre blaze was among the biggest in the state this year and caused smoke problems for cities in both California and Nevada.

It showed explosive growth in the state’s drought conditions weeks after starting Sept. 13. Nearly 3,000 people had to evacuate their homes, 12 of which were lost.

Sixty-eight minor buildings were also destroyed.

A man charged with starting the fire, 37-year-old Wayne Allen Huntsman, has pleaded not guilty to arson.

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