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APTOPIX Western Wildfires California
Firefighters battle a wildfire as it threatens to jump a street near Oroville, Calif., on Saturday, July 8, 2017. Evening winds drove the fire through several neighborhoods leveling homes in its path. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Thousands have fled their homes as wildfires barrel across parts of the US and Canada


Thousands forced to flee West Coast wildfires

Over the past week, thousands have been forced to flee their homes as wildfires barrel across the western parts of the U.S. and Canada.

Southern California

Two wildfires at separate ends of Santa Barbara County sent residents and campers scrambling over the weekend. The fires forced officials to shut down State Route 154, which is expected to remain closed for several days.

At least 20 structures burned in the wildfires, but officials have not said whether those structures were homes. About 90 children and 50 counselors were trapped at a campground on Saturday and had to take shelter until they could be safely evacuated.

Northern California

In Northern California, a wildfire swept across parts of the Sierra Nevada, destroying at least 10 structures and threatening more than 750 homes.

That blaze grew quickly to more than 7 square miles and was nearly 20 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"It's far from out, we're going to be here for several days if not more," fire spokeswoman Mary Ann Aldrich said Sunday.

Other Western fires

Hundreds of people near Breckenridge, Colorado, were forced to evacuate when a fire broke out Wednesday. By Sunday, the fire covered less than a square mile.

In south-central Oregon, a wildfire destroyed a hunting cabin and an outbuilding. And in Nevada, fire officials have ordered evacuations because of a blaze that popped up near the same area where another fire has already burned for days.

British Columbia

Firefighters in British Columbia are battling more than 200 wildfires that have destroyed dozens of buildings, including several homes and two airport hangars.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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