LOWER LAKE, Calif. (CBS/AP) — A fast-moving wildfire was threatening scores of homes Saturday in Lake County just off of Highway 29.

The fire broke out around 5 p.m.

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Authorities issued four mandatory evacuation orders for an unknown number of homes as the wildfire south of Lower Lake, a town of about 1,300, spread to about 400 acres in mere hours.

Firefighters aided by water- and retardant-dropping air tankers were trying to keep the fire away from homes north of the lake, said Suzie Blankenship, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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The blaze is 20 percent contained.

Blankenship said the fire was spreading rapidly because of parched conditions brought on by California’s historic drought.

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“The fuels are extremely dry,” Blankenship said. “This is the time of year when everybody has to be extra cautious.”

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