SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — Sky-darkening wildfires that took at least six lives and forced tens of thousands of people from their homes blazed throughout California on Friday as firefighting resources strained under the vastness of the infernos authorities were trying to control.
Three major complexes encompassing dozens of fires chewed through a combined 780 square miles of forests, canyons and rural areas flanking San Francisco on three sides.
Statewide, nearly 12,000 firefighters are battling blazes that have scorched more than 1,200 square miles in California, said Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director for the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire.
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