Prescribed burn gets out of hand, prompts evacuations in California

A premeditated burn to prevent wildfire spiraled out of control Friday night in Santa Cruz County, California, and resulted in evacuations, authorities said.
The fire in Estrada near the rural town of Corralitos had spread to 150 acres Friday evening without containment, said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
"The #EstradaFire is the result of the mandatory fire at the Estrada Ranch," the Cal Fire unit, which covers the San Mateo and Santa Cruz districts, said on Twitter.
Temperatures in the region were in the low 80s, according to the National Weather Service, and light winds were offshore at times in the afternoon. The conditions, including the relatively high humidity, did not meet the requirements of a fire weather station.
In a statement Thursday, Cal Fire's San Mateo and Santa Cruz unit said the proposed 20-acre mandatory incineration was necessary "to reduce fuel accumulation and restore and improve grasslands."
"Prescribed burns through vegetation management are carefully planned controlled burns that must meet a predefined set of conditions (regulation) in order to achieve ideal fire behavior," it says.
Cal Fire said the fire started at 2:40 p.m. Friday and spread at a moderate pace. Buildings and power lines are threatened, it said.
PICTURED: A fire fighting helicopter flies over the Estrada fire in the Santa Cruz area of ​​California. (KNTV)
Mandatory evacuations are in place in the Pajaro area, Cal Fire said.
The crews had surrounded the fire with fire retardant and the fire could slow down, the units from San Mateo and Santa Cruz said.
"The fire is out and the crews will work all night to strengthen the direct control lines," the unit tweeted.

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