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Thousands evacuated ahead of California wildfires

Thousands evacuated ahead of California wildfires

WILDFIRES:Smoke from a wildfire rises above the San Gabriel Mountains above Azusa, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 17. A wildfire in the Angeles National Forest in Southern California is forcing people to evacuate from a campground and recreational areas. U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy says the fire above the foothill community of Azusa was reported about 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Photo: Associated Press/John Antczak

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters from throughout California are being dispatched to protect homes that are under threat from a wildfire burning in the foothills near Yosemite National Park.

Fire officials said on Tuesday morning that the blaze in Madera County had destroyed eight structures and was threatening 500 others.

It isn’t clear how many of those structures are homes, but officials said mandatory evacuation orders had gone out to some 13,000 phone numbers for homes and businesses. The fire has burned through nearly 2 square miles.

Four hotels in the community of Oakhurst about 16 miles away from an entrance to Yosemite were evacuated and Tuesday classes have been canceled for most of the Yosemite Unified School District.

The fire was burning near a propane business with 30,000 gallon tanks on site, but the Modesto Bee reports the tanks were spared and the threat to them was brief.

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