A rapidly spreading brushfire burning in parched timberland north of San Francisco has forced the evacuation of 500 people and destroyed several buildings less than 12 hours after it broke out, fire officials said on Thursday.
The blaze, named the "Rocky Fire," is one of a string of wildfires threatening homes and scorching parched wilderness in the U.S. West, where several regions have endured sustained drought.
The Rocky Fire broke out Wednesday afternoon in Lake County, 110 miles (180 km) north of San Francisco. By early Thursday it had covered 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares), according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).
The agency said the fire was spreading rapidly through heavy brush and timberland. Rugged terrain made access difficult for firefighters.
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