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Ponderosa fire in Northern California grows to 15,000 acres

August 20, 2012 |  8:39 am

The Ponderosa wildfire burning in rural Northern California grew by 3,000 acres overnight, with scores of additional firefighters moving in to fight the blaze, officials said Monday.

More than 1,400 firefighters are battling the Ponderosa fire, which has consumed 15,000 acres in Shasta and Tehama counties east of Redding, said Capt. John Dominguez of Cal Fire. An estimated 2,000 people have been ordered to evacuate since the fire began Saturday morning.

Dominguez said the fire picked up in intensity Sunday afternoon, jumping some of the containment lines that had been set up by fire crews and threatening 3,000 homes. Firefighters have been working in steep, rugged terrain to keep the blaze from spreading north into Shingletown and northeast into Viola.

So far, seven homes have been destroyed. The community of Manton also remains under threat, Dominguez said.

"They’re not in the clear because we still have the potential for the wind shift," he said.

The fire has been 5% contained, according to a 7 a.m. update from Cal Fire. Shasta County officials have declared a state of emergency and the American Red Cross has set up an evacuation center in Redding.

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-- David Zahniser

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