California scrambles more firefighters as blaze rages

OROVILLE, Calif. — Firefighting reinforcements began flooding into Butte County Wednesday to battle a 49,000-acre blaze that officials say is now the state's top priority among the more than 300 burning across California.

An additional 500 firefighters arrived, bringing to 2,773 the number on hand to battle the blazes, which already have destroyed 40 to 50 homes and are threatening countless others in Paradise, Magalia and other, smaller communities.

Earlier, fire officials ordered the evacuation of another 1,000 homes over fears that flames could reach them, bringing to 4,800 the total number of homes evacuated since fires erupted out of control near here Tuesday morning.

The latest evacuations were ordered between the town of Deadwood and across Highway 70 to the shores of Lake Oroville.

By Wednesday afternoon, firefighters were evacuating much of Yankee Hill and surrounding areas near Deadwood Road. Those communities sit just south of Concow, where most homes burned Tuesday.

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