Thousands evacuated ahead of fast-moving California wildfire

Fire prompts partial evacuation of Hornbrook, California | KMVU Fox 26 Medford

Wildland firefighters have enough to worry about, but Thursday a tornado briefly touched down just south of the Weston Pass Fire, then while receding back into the cloud it moved directly over the fire.

Elsewhere in California, a massive blaze northwest of Sacramento had destroyed nine homes, officials said.

Eric Durtschi stood outside his destroyed house, where a burned-out vehicle stood in the driveway and kids' bicycles were strewn about.

The Klamathon, which has destroyed 15 structures and blackened almost 22,000 acres (8,900 hectares), was only 5 percent contained as of Saturday.

"Most of our active fires are occurring right now in the Rocky Mountain area which includes Colorado as well as the Great Basin area which includes Utah, Nevada and Idaho", Jones said.

Smoke from the Klamathon Fire is observed just across the OR border in California on Friday, July 6, 2018.

The area was hit by gusty winds that tossed embers and much of Southern California sweltered as temperatures topped 100 degrees in many areas.

He said numerous people he has talked to were either traveling or away for work when the blaze started Thursday and have not been able to find out the status of their homes.

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Authorities described "extreme fire behavior with movement in multiple directions", with threats to the California communities of Hornbrook and Hilt as well as Colestin, Oregon. At least 132 homes have been destroyed. Ray Haupt, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, said losses included homes and livestock.

"It was a small fire but it had a powerful punch to it", Santa County Fire spokesman Mike Eliason said. It marked the first fatality of the fire season in California. It had destroyed 18 structures and damaged eight others by Saturday morning.

The fire spans about 193 square kilometres near a popular fishing reservoir about 130 kilometres southeast of Salt Lake City, according to the Utah Division Forestry Fire State Lands. It was 43 percent contained on Saturday, the officials said.

Growth on Colorado's third largest wildfire in terms of size in state history has slowed, but it is still spreading.

Firefighters battling the Spring Fire in Costilla County say it has grown to almost 107,000 acres, but containment is also up to 43 percent.

Crews also had 50 percent containment of a southwestern Colorado fire that has blackened 85 square miles (220 square kilometers) north of Durango.

The fire was partially contained, but crews struggled in steep, rugged terrain.

Authorities said one person was killed in the fire. A stretch of busy US Highway 285 between Fairplay and Antero Junction reopened Saturday.

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