Firefighters battle Tamarack Fire in California

The Tamarack Fire, which was ignited by lightning on July 4, has grown to 28.5 square miles and remains 0% contained, authorities said.

Gusty winds and dry, hot weather are increasing the size of wildfires, scorching vast stretches of California.

The National Weather Service said on Twitter that the coming days in the U.S. West will see "elevated and critical fire weather conditions and widespread chances for dry thunderstorms."

Mandatory evacuations of several small towns and other areas in the path of the fire have forced hundreds of people to leave their homes.

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