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Sand Fire Triples In Size; Yosemite Blaze Threatens Homes

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Smoke billows from the Sand Fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Smoke billows from the Sand Fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

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PLYMOUTH (CBS/AP) — A wildfire burning near vineyards and homes in Northern California has more than doubled in size, while a new blaze is threatening homes in Yosemite National Park.

State fire officials say the rapidly spreading Sand Fire that began Friday in the Sierra Nevada foothills has now burned more than 4 1/2 square miles of timber and grass, along with five homes and seven outbuildings. It’s 20 percent contained and is being pushed by 20 mph wind gusts in the Amador County area east of Sacramento.

Authorities say about 515 homes are under evacuation orders and crews are battling flames very close to some of them.

Meanwhile, a 500-acre fire that began Saturday threatens homes and cabins in Yosemite.

Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb says evacuations have been ordered for about 45 homes in the community of Foresta, and for six homes outside the park.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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