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As California firefighters made more progress containing a huge blaze northwest of Sacramento, another large fire grew to the south, causing more than 100 people to be evacuated from their homes.
The so-called Jerusalem Fire grew to 20,500 acres Wednesday, burning through dry terrain just south of the Rocky fire, which has destroyed 43 homes and burned nearly 70,000 acres since it broke out on July 29, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The Rocky Fire was 95 percent contained Wednesday, raising hopes that the fire — which had caused more than 1,000 people to leave their homes — could soon be checked, said the department, also known as Cal Fire.
The Jerusalem Fire grew from 16,500 acres Tuesday to 20,500 on Wednesday, Cal Fire said, and it was 16 percent contained. The blaze, which broke out Sunday, threatens 50 homes on the western edge of the fire, and about 150 people have been ordered to leave, Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.
"The winds are continuing to push this fire to the easterly direction — that means away from the majority of these homes," Berlant said. The fire was named for a road near where it broke out.
California is in the fourth year of a historic drought, leaving brush bone-dry and creating tinderbox conditions in some areas, causing fires to spread faster than in the past, fire officials said. More than 11,000 firefighters were battling 16 major blazes across the state Wednesday, Cal Fire said.