Rocky fire in Northern California swells to 60000 acres; 12000 evacuated – Los Angeles Times

More than 12,000 residents have been evacuated as the destructive Rocky fire exploded to 60,000 acres across three counties and consumed 50 structures, including 24 homes.

The wildfire, 12% contained Monday morning, was threatening 6,301 structures in Colusa, Lake and Yolo counties as it continued to advance despite firefighting efforts.

Fire activity grew dramatically in an area with “little to no fire history,” according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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More than 2,900 firefighters were aggressively working to stop the fire, but flames have been difficult to reach due to the steep, rugged area with limited access, Cal Fire said.

The Rocky fire is burning east of Clear Lake in a remote area roughly between California 29 and 16, according to Cal Fire, and is the biggest of numerous fires burning in drought-plagued Northern California.

Fueled by erratic winds and bone-dry woodlands, the fire has destroyed 24 residences and 26 outbuildings, Cal Fire said.

“Dry thunderstorms” — lightning and wind with very little rain — are the main cause of roughly two dozen large blazes that have led to one firefighter’s death and prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.

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