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In this still frame from video provided by KNSD-TV, a home is fully involved in flames near the San Diego County mountain town of Julian in Southern California Thursday, July 3, 2014. / AP

WINTERS, Calif. (AP) - Firefighters held back a fast-moving blaze that marched to the edge of a rural Northern California neighborhood on Saturday, saving about 40 homes during a busy holiday weekend that saw several destructive fires across the state.

Tinder dry conditions and rising temperatures fueled the fire on the southeast shore of Lake Berryessa, which quickly consumed about 8 square miles of rolling hillsides by Golden Bear Estates, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. The fire was just 15% contained.

"The fire burned right up to the homes," he said. "The firefighters took a stand and were able to protect the homes as it was raging through the neighborhood."

Berlant said firefighters battling another blaze northwest of Lake Berryessa were being reassigned to attack the so-called Monticello Fire, which erupted Friday night near the Monticello Dam that forms the man-made lake. That fire was 70% contained after burning nearly 7 square miles and destroying two homes. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze.

Lake Berryessa, about 75 miles northeast of San Francisco, is a popular recreation spot attracting many boaters and campers during the July 4th weekend.

Further north, a fire tore through the tiny community of Collinsville along the Sacramento River on Friday, destroying eight homes and damaging three more, Chief Joe Rosewall of the Montezuma Fire District in Solano County said.

The fire is out, but 25 residents are without homes and it caused an estimated $2.5 million in damage, Rosewall said.

Meanwhile in Southern California, a fire near the mountain town of Julian that had destroyed two homes was 90% contained Saturday after burning about 220 acres.

Four firefighters were injured, state fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser said. The extent of their injuries wasn't immediately clear, and the cause of the fire in central San Diego County was under investigation.

It broke out Thursday, prompting the mandatory evacuation of 200 homes and forcing the cancellation of the town's Fourth of July parade and celebration.

The lingering threat of the fire and the need to use roads for the firefight forced the city to take the year off from the festive celebration that usually draws 3,000 to 5,000 people.

State fire officials said they were bracing for more fires over the next couple of days.

"The holiday weekend is in full swing," Berlant said. "There's still a potential for more fires if the public is not careful."



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Raging California wildfire burns right up to homes

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