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The Latest: Northern California wildfire has burned 8 homes

Anthony Lopez harvests marijuana plants as the Loma fire burns around his home near Morgan Hill, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
September 29, 2016 - 6:27 PM

MORGAN HILL, Calif. - The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

A fire burning in Northern California's Santa Cruz Mountains has now destroyed eight homes and sent a firefighter to the hospital.

State fire officials said Thursday that the firefighter was injured and hospitalized. But they did not give any details on his condition.

Officials had only announced one burned home before Thursday. It's not clear whether the destruction of seven more is new or just newly discovered.

The blaze has grown to about 6 1/2 square miles and is 34 per cent contained.

It is still threatening more than 300 structures.

Mandatory evacuations were lifted Wednesday for Santa Cruz County. Evacuation orders remain in effect for neighbouring Santa Clara County, where most of the threatened structures are located.

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5:30 p.m.

Cooler weather and more firefighters have fire officials hopeful that they will be able to fully contain in days a wildfire threatening hundreds of structures in a remote area of California's Santa Cruz Mountains.

State fire Capt. Mike Perez said full containment was expected by Monday, though wind gusts of up to 35 mph forecast for Friday night could complicate the firefight. The fire has burned 6 square miles and is threatening 325 structures. It was 22 per cent contained as of Thursday morning.

Mandatory evacuations were lifted Wednesday for Santa Cruz County. Evacuation orders remain in effect for neighbouring Santa Clara County, where most of the threatened structures are located.

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6:30 a.m.

Officials say a wildfire threatening hundreds of structures in a remote area of California's Santa Cruz Mountains continues to grow.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeremy Rahn said Thursday that the flames have scorched more than 6 square miles of trees and dry brush in steep terrain south of San Jose.

At least 325 structures are in the path of the fire, which is 22 per cent contained.

Mandatory evacuations were lifted Wednesday for Santa Cruz County, but evacuation orders remain in effect for neighbouring Santa Clara County, where most of the threatened structures are located.

To the north in Sonoma County, investigators say a grass fire that destroyed four homes in Petaluma may have been started by a discarded cigarette.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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