New wildfire in Northern California kills 1

The blaze burning in Monterey County quickly grew to 1,200 acres after starting Saturday afternoon.

AP Photo/Eric Risberg
A fountain and statue of an angel stand outside a home destroyed by fire Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Middletown , Calif. California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Lake and Napa Counties after a wildfire charred more than 60 square miles within 12 hours, prompting thousands to flee their homes. Brown said Sunday the declaration will expedite debris removal and waive fees to people who need to replace official documents lost in the fire. The blaze, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, has destroyed an unconfirmed number of homes and other buildings and damaged highways and other infrastructure.

A new wildfire in Northern California has killed one person and destroyed or damaged 10 homes in Monterey County, a week after two other blazes killed five people and destroyed at least 1,400 homes, fire officials said Sunday.

The blaze burning about 2 miles north of the community of Jamesburg in Monterey County quickly grew to 1,200-acres after starting Saturday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The person who died has not been identified.

Evacuation advisories were issued for residents of Jamesburg and the nearby community of Cachagua, Cal Fire said.

Farther north, two wildfires have destroyed 1,400 homes and continue to threaten thousands more, fire officials said.

Damage assessment teams have counted 888 homes burned in Lake County, many of them in the town of Middletown, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

Berlant said teams are getting access to affected areas as firefighters make progress but that the count is far from over.

The fire, which killed at least three people and charred 117 square miles was 53 percent contained. Another 6,400 homes remain under threat.

"Our damage assessment team continues to go in and count home by home, structure by structure but they still have a ways to go before they are finished," Berlant said.

Another 535 homes were destroyed by a separate blaze that killed at least two people and that has burned 110 square miles in the Sierra Nevada foothills, about 170 miles southeast. That blaze was 70 percent contained Sunday but continued to threaten thousands of structures.

Residents of Middletown, the area hardest hit by the massive wildfire in Lake County, were allowed to return home Saturday afternoon. Evacuation orders for other areas in Lake County remained.

The Lake County fire tore through 62 square miles in 12 hours, causing thousands of residents to flee after it ignited a week ago. About 19,000 people were ordered to evacuate.

A weekend of heat had descended on the wildfires after several favorable days, raising fears that major gains could be undone.

That makes it essential that the smoldering remains of the two giant blazes be dealt with as quickly and thoroughly as possible, Scott Mclean, a battalion chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said.

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