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California Declares State of Emergency as It Fights Fires, Extreme Weather



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Coastal Northern California residents threatened by raging lightning-sparked fires were ordered to evacuate on Wednesday as flames continued to rage out of control.

A series of evacuation orders for residents across Santa Cruz County were issued by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) just before dawn, telling them to leave or take refuge at county fairgrounds in Watsonville, about 40 miles south of downtown San Jose.

Hours earlier, just before midnight, Cal Fire also ordered evacuations in neighboring San Mateo County, telling residents there to flee or hunker down at Pescadero High School which is about 40 miles south of San Francisco International Airport.

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