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CASTAIC, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters were making progress on a wildfire that jumped across a Southern California freeway and spread across dry hillsides while a new blaze forced residents of a Northern California community to evacuate.
The fire broke out Saturday afternoon near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County. Pushed by 10-15mph (16-24 kph) winds, the blaze chewed through tinder-dry brush and jumped across the busy freeway, spread across more than a half of a square mile.
The California Highway Patrol closed a stretch of the interstate for several hours as air tankers dropped bright-orange retardant on the flames. A large flareup sent heavy smoke drifting toward free- way lanes Sunday afternoon, the CHP reported.
Two firefighters were taken to the hospital to treat burn injuries, said Andrew Mitchell, a spokesman for the Angeles National Forest.
Officials said the fire was about 63% contained Sunday, adding that firefighters made progress overnight with the help of water- dropping aircraft and an aggressive ground attack, Mitchell said.
He said crews would take advantage of the beginning of a cooling trend Sunday to build con- tainment lines.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Meanwhile, a fire that erupted Sunday afternoon prompted Mendocino County authorities to evacuate parts of Calpella, a com- munity on the Russian River about 6 miles (10 kilometers) north of Ukiah. Video footage posted on Twitter shows the fire pushing in the direction of Lake Mendocino.