Update 7:43 p.m. (AP) -- Fire officials say the Loma Fire in the parched Santa Cruz Mountains in Northern California grew, but fire crews have increased containment in part thanks to cooler weather.
Cal Fire Battalion Chief Scott McLean said the wildfire had charred more than 4 square miles by Wednesday evening. It was 22 percent contained.
McLean says evacuation orders were lifted for Santa Cruz County, but the blaze is still threatening 300 buildings.
He says evacuation orders are still in effect for Santa Clara County, where most of the buildings under threat are located.
One residence has been gutted by flames, and at least six outbuildings are destroyed.
The blaze broke out Monday during a statewide heat wave that brought witheringly low humidity and temperatures in the upper 90s.
Original Post: The Sawmill Fire that started on Sunday morning has burned 1,500 acres of land off of Big Geysers Road and 10 miles east of Cloverdale in Sonoma County. As of Wednesday, the fire is 85 percent contained
The Loma Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains has spread to more than 2,200 acres since it broke out on Monday, forcing hundreds of nearby residents to evacuate. The fire is now 10 percent contained.
Another wildfire that also started Monday, the Tobin Fire, has burned 375 acres near Highway 70 in the Plumas National Forest. The burned perimeter is now five percent contained.
The Marshes Fire in Tuolumne County that burned in the steep terrain off of Highway 49 is now 30 percent contained at 1,000 acres.
These new fires come after a relatively quiet few weeks.
Calfire’s Scott McLean says that historically some of Northern California’s worst fires have erupted after summer.
“The Valley Fire, granted it started a little earlier than this period of time, but very devastating, [causing] several thousand homes and structures destroyed,” McLean says.
McLean also says that this year, California has had several hundred more wildfires than last year at this time. He says 95 percent of wildland fires are caused by human activities like exhaust systems spewing hot particles into dry grass or low tire pressure where the rims are rubbing on asphalt and creating sparks.