Friday, September 24, 2021 - 10:45

Thousands of people were under evacuation orders Friday and many others were on notice to be ready to flee as a destructive wildfire raged in a drought-stricken forest in California’s far north.

A woman suspected of starting the Fawn Fire was under arrest, authorities said.

The fire in the Mountain Gate area north of the city of Redding covered more than 9 square miles and was 10% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

“Approximately 4,000 Shasta County residents are evacuated at this time with 30,000 residents affected,” the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday night.

Cal Fire said at least 25 structures had burned. Photos and video showed some homes blazing but the number of residences lost was not known. Damage inspection teams were conducting assessments, Cal Fire said.

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