March 9, 2014
A massive wildfire in Northern California has destroyed more than 80 homes and other buildings and is threatening 900 more.
The state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on Thursday boosted the total number of structures ravaged by the Ponderosa Fire to 84 from 50.
Spokesman Daniel Berlant says the blaze has consumed 44 square miles of rugged, densely forested land about 30 miles east of Redding since it was sparked by lightning Saturday. The fire was 57 percent contained Thursday.
About 2,500 firefighters are battling the raging fire near small towns in Shasta and Tehama counties.
The blaze is one of several major fires burning across the western U.S.