MANTON, Calif. (AP) - A huge lightning-sparked wildfire that is burning on the edge of three small Northern California towns has grown to more than 30 square miles.
Fire officials say the fire is 35 percent contained as of Tuesday morning. Seven homes were destroyed and thousands of others are threatened.
Residents have been evacuated to emergency shelters. One evacuee said, "All we can do is pray."
The fast-moving Ponderosa Fire was one of many burning across the West, where lightning, dry temperatures and gusting winds have brought an early start to fire season.
Nearly 1,900 firefighters were battling the blaze in rugged, densely forested terrain. It is threatening 3,500 homes in the towns of Manton, Shingletown and Viola, about 170 miles north of Sacramento.
The Associated Press