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Jun 27,2007
Flames jump fire line in California
by UPI

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - Winds whipped a California wildfire past a fire break Tuesday, sending residents of one hamlet fleeing and hurting firefighters' efforts to contain the blaze.

Even before the 2,730-acre wildfire near Lake Tahoe jumped the fire line, officials had expected it would take until Sunday to fully contain the fire, which had consumed almost 200 houses and 75 other structures, the Tahoe Daily Tribune reported.

The Angora fire, which began Sunday, was 40 percent contained by Tuesday morning before the winds picked up and changed the picture during the afternoon, The Sacramento Bee reported. Residents of the village of Tallac were being evacuated, fire officials said.

Officials estimated the fire had caused $1.5 million in damage and predicted the total would reach $30 million before it is extinguished. The cause of the fire had yet to be determined but was thought to have been of human origin because there had been no lightning strikes, the Bee said.

As many as 1,700 firefighters were massed at the scene.

The National Weather Service forecast strong winds and low humidity through the rest of the week with highs in the mid-70s.

copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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