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Brush Fires Break Out in California

October 17, 1999

BELLA VISTA, Calif. (AP) _ Residents living near this rural Northern California town were hastily evacuated Saturday because of a fast-moving brush fire that grew from 3,000 to 15,000 acres in a single afternoon.

Fifty to 70 homes and other structures had been consumed by the blaze, which broke out about 4:15 a.m. Saturday in an area that experienced a similar brush fire just weeks ago.

``We have nothing left in this town,″ said California Department of Forestry spokeswoman Rose Wyckoff.

Residents in the town of Millville, Jones Valley and Palo Cedro had also been evacuated.

Ms. Wyckoff said the exact number of evacuees was not available.

The fire was consuming heavy timber in some areas and lighter grassy brush in others.

More than 500 firefighters were working the blaze, which was made more intense by warm temperatures and gusty winds over 25 mph. Late Saturday, CDF officials reported a volunteer firefighter had been killed when she was struck on a highway by a fire truck.

The cause of the fire was not known and there was no estimate of a time for containment.

``We’re praying for rain,″ said Ms. Wyckoff.

An evacuation center was set up at Anderson High School.

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