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Company to pay about $50M in Calif. wildfire

Posted: July 19, 2012 6:30 a.m.
Updated: July 19, 2012 6:30 a.m.
 

FORESTHILL (AP) — Fire crews aided by cooler temperatures and higher humidity made significant gains Wednesday against California's wildfires.

Most of the evacuations ordered in Placer County were lifted by morning, as firefighters made progress overnight against a blaze that has burned for a week and threatened dozens of homes.

State fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said the so-called Robbers Fire near Foresthill was 70 percent contained. It had scorched more than four square miles.

So far, the fire had destroyed one home and four outbuildings, and injured 12 people.

Another blaze in Mendocino National Forest known as the Mill Fire was 95-percent contained on Wednesday. It burned more than 46 square miles.

A third blaze in Trinity County was declared fully contained on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a wildfire that burned a square mile of brush in San Luis Obispo County has been fully contained, and investigators have determined it was started by a landowner clearing weeds with a mower.

Despite struggles to cut fire lines in rough terrain that looked like the firefight would last further into the week, firefighters were able to surround the blaze late Wednesday afternoon, state fire spokeswoman Ellen Price said.

The wildfire erupted Monday and prompted an evacuation order for about 50 rural homes and ranches near Santa Margarita about 10 miles northeast of San Luis Obispo.

Price said quick action from crews on Monday assured the blaze was unlikely to do serious damage.

"We pretty well stopped it the first night," she said.

The fire was sparked by a mower used by a landowner clearing the invasive weed star thistle, Price said.

All restrictions on residents and roads were lifted.

Firefighters made progress against another blaze that scorched coastal brush on a Marine base in northern San Diego County. The 450-acre blaze at Camp Pendleton Marine base was 95 percent contained, Cpl. Christopher Duncan said.

It began Monday during a training exercise. No buildings were threatened.

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