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High Winds Fuel California Wildfires


A blazing wildfire in the western U.S. state of California intensified Tuesday, dealing a setback to firefighters who were making progress in containing the blaze.

Officials say the wildfire breached a barrier defense line erected by firefighters due to heavy wind gusts. The breach forced authorities to evacuate about 2,000 people from South Lake Tahoe. The town is located near Lake Tahoe, a large lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains along the California-Nevada border.

The blaze has consumed more than 1,200 hectares of land since it began on Sunday, and destroyed about 275 homes and other buildings. Firefighters had managed to contain about 40 percent of the fire before Tuesday's surge.

Weather forecasts call for more heavy winds in the area Wednesday.

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service say the fire was caused by some kind of human activity, but there is no indication whether it was intentional.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.
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