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California wildfires likely to worsen as season peaks -forecaster

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The Soberanos blaze north of Big Sur expanded to 59 square miles Sunday night, Cal Fire officials said.

PG&E crews have begun repairing power lines and poles that were damaged in the fire, starting in Carmel-by-the Sea, utility officials said.

The burned out landscape is seen through the cab of a vehicle at the site of a destroyed house after the Soberanes Fire burned through the Palo Colorado area, north of Big Sur.

More than 5,000 firefighters are battling the blaze.

Firefighters in recent days have gotten an upper hand in the wildfire's hard-to-reach areas by lighting fires from the containment boundaries toward the advancing flames.

The $60,000 yurt that burned is a round, tent-like structure with a dome roof and plastic skin.

KCFD says it appears the cause of the fire was from parking in an area with hot material, which set the rear tires on the driver's side on fire.

Hundreds of additional homes are being evacuated or placed under alert as strong winds threaten to spread a Montana wildfire that's already destroyed at least 14 homes.

It's the largest of several wildfires burning in Washington state.

Another, farther north near Poodle Mountain, is 80 percent contained.

Containment of the fires was estimated at about 40 percent.

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The blaze has burned 15 square miles of federal, state and private land about 15 miles west of Cody since igniting Tuesday.

As the Chronicle notes, the Golden Bear Estates neighborhood has been evacuated in the last two fire seasons, once in 2015 during the Wragg Fire, and in 2014 during the Monticello Fire.

Flames raced down a steep hillside "like a freight train", leaving smoldering remains of homes and warnings that more communities should be ready to flee the wildfire churning through tinder-dry canyons in Southern California, authorities said Sunday.

Officials say more than two dozen large wildfires are burning in the West on Thursday.

Another fire broke out Saturday in grass and brush about 30 miles northeast of Fresno, in Central California.

Officials predicted humidity in the single-digits in the Virginia Mountains with wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour.

Firefighters made progress in their effort to contain several fires burning in western part of the state. Residents of the rural area surrounded by rolling hills told reporters they scrambled to evacuate with their animals as the wind-driven blaze swept through dry slopes.

About 50 miles north, a wildfire in the scenic Poodle Mountain Wilderness Study Area has burned almost 8 square miles.

In Bridger-Teton National Forest, a fire that has burned about 46 square miles was 84 percent contained.

Fire officials said Tuesday a person who lit, then left an illegal fire in Garrapata State Park in Northern California is responsible for the massive Soberanes Fire that has now scorched more than 44,000 acres and destroyed 57 homes.

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