OROVILLE, Calif. (NEWSnet/AP) At least 13,000 people have been forced to evacuate away from the path of a fast-growing wildfire in northern California.

The Thompson Fire emerged before noon Tuesday in and around the city of Oroville, in Butte County, about 70 miles north of Sacramento.

It sent up a huge plume of smoke, and was not contained Wednesday morning, during which time it was nearly 4.7 miles in size.

 

Firefighters lined roads to keep flames from reaching homes as helicopters dropped water on the flames, with another day of extreme heat expected.

In response, the city of about 20,000 people declared a state of emergency Tuesday night. Nearly 400 first responders were assigned to the blaze, with more expected, local announcements said.

Several homes have been destroyed, KCRA-TV reported Wednesday. There was no word of injuries. Two evacuation centers were set up in Butte County.

 

The governor’s office announced late Tuesday that federal funding had been approved to help with firefighting efforts.

Gov. Gavin Newsom this week activated the State Operations Center to coordinate California’s response, dispatch mutual aid and support communities as they respond to threats of wildfire and excessive heat.

Much of California is included in a scorching heat wave; and continued high temperatures above 100 degrees were forecast Wednesday in the region, the National Weather Service said.

 

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