Crews scramble to protect homes from fierce California wildfire

Crews scramble to protect homes from fierce California wildfire

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More than 1,200 firefighters aided by water-dropping helicopters battled a wind-driven wildfire raging out of control in Northern California on Monday, threatening homes and other structures as thick black smoke drifted across the San Francisco Bay Area. The so-called County Fire, which broke out on Saturday afternoon in rural Yolo County, west of Sacramento, has already blackened more than 50 square miles of grass, brush and dense scrub oak and was only 3 percent contained as of Monday afternoon. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection said the job of hand crews and bulldozer operators trying to cut containment lines was made more difficult by high winds, which were blowing embers and starting new spot fires.