Aerials of hundreds of wildfires across Northern California
Restrictions: No NAmerica/Internet
Dateline: Napa, California - 22 June 2008
Date: 06/23/2008 02:18 AM
1. Aerial of bush fire flames and smoke
2. Aerial of water bomber plane dumping load of fire retardant liquid over flames
3. Aerial of bush fire flames and smoke
4. Long aerial of smoke and fire front
5. Mid of ground fire burning in scrub
6. Close of flames
7. Wide of flames and burnt ground
More than 500 hundred wildfires flared up on Sunday across remote forests in the north of the US state of California, spreading into some of the state's prime wine-producing country.
One of the largest fires has spread across nearly 6 square miles (15 and a half square kilometres) of terrain.
Sparked by lightning strikes on Saturday afternoon in Napa County, the blaze had quickly moved into a mostly rural area of Solano County by early Sunday.
Authorities said the fire had destroyed one home and threatened more than 60 others as it fed on grassy woodland about 40 miles (64 kilometres) southwest of Sacramento.
Rough terrain and rising temperatures have fire crews struggling to keep the flames from spreading, and specialist water bombing aircraft have been brought in to help.
Wildfires have destroyed more than 175 homes in Northern California so far this year.
The blazes started popping up in the region just as California's unofficial fire season began in mid-May, following the state's driest two month period on record.
A blaze about 25 miles (40 kilometres) south of San Jose forced several residents from their homes on Sunday, though officials did not have exact figures on the evacuation.
That fire covered nearly 2 square miles (5 square kilometres) and was only 10 percent contained. It also was blamed on lightning.
Thunderstorms were also responsible for as many as 75 fires in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, about 160 miles (257 kilometres) north of Sacramento, but none are currently threatening any homes.