The Latest: Destructive central California wildfire expands


SAN SIMEON, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires burning in the Western United States (all times local):

8:20 a.m.

A wildfire in central California that destroyed 47 structures and forced the closure of the famed Hearst Castle has grown.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says Monday that the blaze in San Luis Obispo County has charred nearly 50 square miles — up from about 43 square miles a day earlier. It’s partially contained.

Residents of at least 50 mostly rural homes near Lake Nacimiento were ordered to leave late Sunday. Several other nearby communities have been under evacuation orders for days.

Hearst Castle was closed over the weekend, though officials say the fire is growing in the opposite direction of the popular tourist attraction.

Meanwhile, a 58-square-mile fire that destroyed 105 homes in Southern California is almost entirely contained and all evacuation orders have been lifted.

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7:40 a.m.

Authorities say a wildfire that has burned some homes west of Spokane, Washington, doubled in size overnight as it raged uncontained.

Fire officials tell Spokane TV station KHQ that the fire in Lincoln County scorched more than 15 square miles by Monday morning. It wasn’t immediately clear how many homes were lost.

People in the community of Wellpinit have been told to evacuate. The town also lost power, making the battle by firefighters more difficult.

Authorities tell TV station KREM that the blaze has jumped the Spokane River and is charring tribal land. They said the fire is threatening homes and timber.

Two other wildfires are burning in the Spokane region, also causing evacuations and destroying an unknown number of buildings.

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6:15 a.m.

A wildfire in central California that destroyed 47 structures and forced the closure of the famed Hearst Castle has chased more people from their homes.

Fire spokeswoman Diley Greiser said early Monday that residents of at least 50 mostly rural homes near Lake Nacimiento were ordered to leave late Sunday.

The fire in San Luis Obispo County has burned 43 square miles of timber and dry brush since it began August 13. It’s partially contained.

Hearst Castle was closed over the weekend, though officials said Sunday that the fire was growing in the opposite direction of the popular tourist attraction built by media magnate William Randolph Hearst.

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