- Associated Press - Thursday, August 3, 2017

ALTURAS, Calif. (AP) - California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Modoc County after several fires ignited by lighting threatened homes, power lines and prompted mandatory evacuations.

Brown’s emergency declaration Wednesday comes in response to several blazes burning throughout Modoc National Forest.

The U.S Forest Service says at least 2,000 firefighters are battling the biggest wildfire, which has destroyed 115 square miles (297 square kilometers) as of Wednesday evening. It is 35 percent contained

It says the fire was started by lighting on July 24 and quickly grew due to extremely dry vegetation, high temperatures, and strong winds.

The declaration allows the state to direct its resources to battle the blazes, which are expected to grow.

Record rain and snow this winter have caused grasses to grow thick, providing extra fuel for wildfires throughout the state.


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