- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - A wildfire in Northern California that exploded in size hours has left about 17,000 people without power amid a heat wave, officials said Wednesday.

The 1,200-acre fire in Amador County was threatening some structures and authorities have ordered people to evacuate homes along three rural roads.

Cal Fire spokesman Brice Bennett said there is wind in the area and temperatures haven’t cool off much. She said the fire is 30 percent contained.

“This fire is burning with such intensity and here we have a wind this evening, and it really hasn’t cooled off much,” Bennett told KCRA-TV (https://bit.ly/1McWAnP ).

Pacific Gas & Electric said several of its facilities were damaged by the fire and that power could be restored by Thursday evening.

In Fresno County, where the state’s largest wildfire has been burning for nearly six weeks, officials are advising more residents to be ready to evacuate as the stubborn blaze spreads.

The fire sparked by lightning on July 31 has charred about 160 square miles and is only about one-third contained.

In Tuolumne County near Yosemite National Park, a firefighter was injured and a home was destroyed when two fires combined in the Cedar Ridge area, state fire spokeswoman Lisa Williams said.

Three educational camps and several homes in the area were ordered evacuated. The fire burning about 20 miles northeast of Sonora has consumed 102 acres and was 50 percent contained.

Nearby, a wildfire above Yosemite Valley grew to 500 acres, sending plumes of smoke visible throughout the park, park spokesman Scott Gediman said. Trails on the north rim of Yosemite Valley south of the Tioga Road and east of Yosemite Creek are closed, Gediman said.

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