SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in three Northern California counties where wildfires have forced evacuations, closed roads and destroyed dozens of homes and other structures.

The governor issued the emergency proclamations Wednesday for Plumas, Shasta and Tehama counties at the request of local officials. The declarations open the way for the use of more state resources to battle the blazes.

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In Tehama and Shasta counties, the Ponderosa Fire has scorched 38 square miles and destroyed 50 homes and other structures in remote, densely forested terrain. It was 50 percent contained Wednesday.

In Plumas County, the Chips Fire has consumed about 98 square miles since it started at the end of July and threatens about 900 homes. It was 37 percent contained Wednesday.

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