Fires near vineyards, Yosemite threaten homes

A DC-10 Air Tanker makes a drop on the Sand Fire at the middle fork of the Cosumnes River in Northern California as firefighters standby to protect a home on Saturday, July 26, 2014. Hundreds of firefighters are working in rugged terrain and triple-digit temperatures. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Hector Amezcua) MAGS OUT; LOCAL TV OUT (KCRA3, KXTV10, KOVR13, KUVS19, KMAZ31, KTXL40); MANDATORY CREDIT: THE SACRAMENTO BEE, HECTOR AMEZCUA

PLYMOUTH, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire burning near vineyards and homes in Northern California has more than doubled in size, while a new blaze is threatening homes in Yosemite National Park.

State fire officials said the rapidly spreading Sand Fire that began Friday in the Sierra Nevada foothills has burned more than 4 1/2 square miles of timber and grass, along with five homes and seven outbuildings. It’s 20 percent contained and is being pushed by 20 mph wind gusts in the Amador County area east of Sacramento.

Authorities said about 515 homes are under evacuation orders and crews are battling flames very close to some of them.

Meanwhile, a 500-acre fire that began Saturday threatens homes and cabins in Yosemite.

Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said evacuations have been ordered for about 45 homes in the community of Foresta, as well as six homes outside the park.

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