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Firefighters Battle Fast-Moving Mountain Fire in Shasta County Forcing Evacuations

A fast-moving wildfire in Northern California is threatening thousands of homes and forcing evacuations.

The fire in Shasta County started around noon Thursday in a rural area northwest of Redding about 200 miles north of San Francisco.

CalFire Capt. Robert Foxworthy says the blaze quickly spread to more than 600 acres, or about one square mile, by Thursday afternoon. Foxworthy says a north wind drove the fire in a combination of grass, brush and some oak trees.

He says about 2,000 structures may be threatened, though officials haven't conducted a thorough count yet.

The blaze was 20% contained as of late Thursday night.

Those evacuated included an estimated 4,000 people at Shasta College.

One family who lost their home in a fire in San Ramon about 10 years ago was evacuated Thursday.

"When that fire was going, the wind was blowing pretty good from the fire towards our house and we were kind of nervous about that," Steve Swift said.

Dianne Swift added: "I was upset at the beginning; I’m a lot calmer now, knowing my house is still standing. Unlike our house in San Ramon, it’s still standing. It will be there when we get there."

Firefighters were battling in high temperatures, expected to be above 100 degrees for the next few days. They'll be working through the night to contain the blaze, fire officials said.

The fire is burning not too far from last year's Carr Fire, which destroyed more than 1,000 homes in Shasta and Trinity counties. The fire killed eight people, including three firefighters.

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