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2,500 acres burning in Geysers-area fire

Strong, dry winds whipped up a major, late-season wildfire in the remote hills of northeastern Sonoma County on Friday, burning 2,500 acres by nighttime and damaging a geothermal power plant while prompting energy workers in the area to evacuate in the face of advancing flames.

About 340 firefighters from more than a dozen local departments and the state were battling the blaze in The Geysers, a large geothermal energy field along the Sonoma-Lake county border.

Dubbed the McCabe fire, it was burning in Sonoma County toward Lake County, and it was about 10percent contained at the last report at 6 p.m.

After being grounded Friday amid strong winds and smoky conditions that made their drops ineffective, aircraft were able to douse hot spots inside the fire and active flames along the front, allowing hand crews and other equipment to strengthen containment lines.

A total of 1,758 firefighters and personnel were assigned to the McCabe fire Saturday. The blaze was 25 percent contained by 8 p.m., according to Cal Fire, the state firefighting agency.


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