Ponderosa Fire destroys 84 structures; 57 percent contained

7:52 AM, Aug 23, 2012   |    comments
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Firefighter battling Ponderosa Fire in Manton, California.

MANTON, CA (AP) - A massive wildfire in Northern California has destroyed more than 80 homes and other buildings.

The state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on Thursday boosted its count of structures destroyed by the Ponderosa Fire to 84, up from 50 a day earlier.

PHOTOS: Raw power of the Ponderosa Fire

The blaze has consumed 44 square miles of rugged, densely forested land about 30 miles east of Redding.

The fire, sparked by lightning Saturday, was 57 percent contained Thursday and continued to threaten 900 homes.

About 2,500 firefighters are working to contain the fire burning near small towns in Shasta and Tehama counties. The blaze was one of several major fires burning across California.

On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Plumas, Shasta and Tehama counties in response to the wildfires.

The Associated Press

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