Lightning sparked wildfires continue to grow

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. - The U.S. Forest Service says a pair of wildfires sparked by lightning nearly three weeks ago continues to grow while threatening as many as 250 homes in far Northern California.

Forest Service spokesman Marc Peebles said low humidity and warm weather helped the fires burning in the Klamath National Forest near the gold mining and logging town of Happy Camp to sweep across desiccated trees and steep terrain overnight.

The two fires are the largest among about 20 that broke out in the forest when a thunderstorm moved through the area on Aug. 11. Originally located a few miles apart, they had merged by Saturday morning and together charred more than 90 square miles, about 21 square miles more than a day earlier.

Peebles says nearly 2,000 firefighters are assigned to the blazes, but that winds forecast for the afternoon and evening could hamper their efforts to contain them.

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