Thousands flee fast-moving California wildfire

A towering plume of smoke and flames was visible from space, as a fast-moving wildfire burned homes and forced thousands to evacuate in Northern California.

The so-called River Fire scorched at least 1,400 acres in two heavily wooded counties northeast of Sacramento.

And according to fire officials, 1,000 acres burned within the first two hours of the fire starting on Wednesday.

Some residents said they evacuated their homes even before the official warning came because the blaze was spreading so quickly.

Making matters worse, the River Fire was less than 100 miles from Dixie Fire, which has consumed 278,000 acres and was only 35% contained three weeks after it started.

But officials were hoping some cooler weather and a reversal of the wind direction would help efforts in containing the River Fire.

California is grappling with the state’s worst drought since 1977. And, with more than a dozen wildfires burning, California is on pace for even more burnt acreage this year than last year, which was the worst fire season on record.

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