Forest fire forces 1,400 to evacuate in northern California

Forest fire forces 1,400 to evacuate in northern CaliforniaSan Francisco  - A wildfire in the Santa Cruz Mountains forced the evacuation of 1,400 residents Wednesday as more than 175 firefighters fought the blaze, local media reported.

Warm, dry winds have accelerated flames, and from just 75 acres in the afternoon the fire grew to up to 300 hundred acres by early evening, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Assisting firefighters are seven air tankers and two helicopters dropping retardant and water, the newspaper reported, citing the state Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention.

At the end of May a wildfire burned 4,270 acres and burned 35 homes, in the area.

The National Weather Service warned that fire danger is expected to remain high through Friday morning. (dpa)