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Lightning sparked Ponderosa fire in Northern California

August 20, 2012 |  7:19 am

Lightning caused a wildfire that has consumed 12,000 acres in Shasta and Tehama counties, spurring one county to declare a state of emergency, Cal Fire officials said Monday.

The Ponderosa fire east of Redding was 5% contained as of Sunday night, with 1,251 firefighters and 3 water-dropping helicopters mobilized against it.

Evacuation orders have been issued to an estimated 2,000 residents, including people in the communities of Manton, Shingletown and Viola.

The fire began Saturday morning and prompted Shasta County officials to declare a state of emergency. The blaze threatens 3,000 homes and led to the closure of Highway 44 from Viola to Brush Oak.

An evacuation center has been set up by the American Red Cross in Redding.


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-- David Zahniser