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Wildfire burns near Gold Rush-era boomtown

Monday - 8/25/2014, 5:20pm  ET

WEAVERVILLE, Calif. (AP) -- Crews working in steep terrain were building containment lines around a wildfire that chased people from about 200 homes near the California Gold Rush-era boomtown of Weaverville.

CalFire spokeswoman Cris Hartman said early Monday that the fire was 25 percent contained.

Firefighters worked through the night to keep the flames from spreading. The fire has burned a little more than 1 square mile, or 650 acres, of timber and brush about 2 miles west of town.

"The flames laid pretty low last night and they were able to make some good progress," Hartman said.

Officials said daylight will bring increased risks as gusty winds and dry conditions return.

The fire, sparked Sunday afternoon near Highway 299, damaged one structure, likely a barn or a large outbuilding, Hartman said.

About 400 firefighters were battling the blaze.

Fire officials said a shelter for evacuees was being moved later in the day from Weaverville Elementary School to a Baptist church.

KRCR-TV reported the fire temporarily forced the closure of the highway, and school was canceled for Monday.

Weaverville is at the base of the Trinity Alps Wilderness area in Trinity County. The Gold Rush-era boomtown is on the National Register of Historic Places.


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