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A fast-growing wildfire in the rural Riverside County community of Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains has forced evacuations Wednesday afternoon. Late Thursday, the city said its electric utility would be shutting down power to most of north Redding at the request of fire authorities "and to maintain system stability due to multiple line outages".

Where is the Cranston fire burning?

Sharon Stapleton of Shasta, Calif., said she and her husband were awakened when law enforcement officials came to their door in the middle of the night telling them to evacuate. "There have been some injuries to civilians and firefighters", California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean told the Sacramento Bee newspaper.

He said the fire behavior was so erratic, there were tornadoes within the fire "tossing around equipment, blowing windows out of Cal Fire pickup trucks".

The San Bernardino National Forest officials said Thursday evening the Cranston fire had grown to 7,500 acres with 5% containment. The state is battling ferocious fires at both ends of the state.

Wildfires throughout the state have burned through tinder-dry brush and forest, forced thousands to evacuate homes and caused campers to pack up their tents at the height of summer. Gov.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Shasta and Riverside Counties.

The 45-square-mile fire that began Monday tripled in size overnight Thursday amid scorching temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.

The Carr Fire is one of 88 burning nationally, mostly across the American west, one of which prompted the closure of much of Yosemite National Park.

Smoke from the Cranston Fire is shown from east of Lake Hemet in Riverside County California U.S
Smoke from the Cranston Fire is shown from east of Lake Hemet in Riverside County California U.S

Myers reported from Los Angeles.

KTLA reported the Cranston Fire erupted around noon off Highway 74 between Hemet and Mountain Center, in the San Jacinto Mountains, the San Bernardino National Forest Service tweeted. A total of 100 homes were still considered under threat in the San Francisco Bay community of Clayton, although firefighters had stopped the progress of a small fire there after one house burned.

"This fire is extremely risky and moving with no regard for what's in its path", he said.

Authorities ordered residents to leave Idyllwild and several neighboring communities, home to about 12,000 people.

A Red Cross employee told local ABC affiliate KRCR there were some 500 people in the evacuation center at Shasta College.

At least 1,000 campground and hotel bookings were cancelled - to say nothing of the impact on day visitors, park workers and small businesses along the highway, Gediman said.

Officials emphasized that Yosemite wasn't in imminent danger from the fire.

Firefighters have been struggling to contain the so-called Ferguson Fire, which has raged near the 768,000-acre park since last week, shrouding the Half Dome and El Capitan peaks in smoke.