National

Sep 16, 2010 9:10 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

California wildifre chars 6,000 acres

Firefighters are gaining ground on a California forest fire in the southern Sierra Nevada that has blackened more than 6,100 acres and destroyed one home.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Cindy Thill says the fire "got very active" Wednesday afternoon, but a fierce air and ground attack kept the flames away from homes. The blaze was 50 percent contained Wednesday night with full containment expected on Sunday.

Evacuations remain in place for hundreds of residents who were told to leave their homes on Tuesday. About 200 homes lost electricity because of burned power poles, but crews were hoping to have service restored on Thursday.

Earlier Wednesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Kern County to free up state resources to battle the blaze.

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