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Tamarack Fire Grows To 66,744 Acres; Containment Improves to 27%

SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) - Containment has improved to 27 percent in the Tamarack Fire which has burned 66,744 acres since its July 4 start.

Many evacuation orders have been lifted, and today deputies from the Alpine and El Dorado County sheriff's offices are providing escorts for residents within the evacuation areas to secure pets, papers and emergency items.

The fire is burning in timber and head-high chaparral of mostly national forest land, according to fire officials.

The fire, sparked by lightning on July 4 in Alpine County, has destroyed at least 15 buildings and forced the evacuation of more than 2,400 homes.

On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency in four Northern California counties due to wildfires.

RELATED: Heart-Stopping Video Shows Crews Inside Tamarack Fire Lines, Escaping An Intense Spot Fire

Evacuation orders are in effect in Plumas, Alpine, and Butte Counties where a total of 8,397 people have been evacuated, according to the California Office of Emergency Services.

Of that total, about 1,300 were ordered evacuated for the first time Thursday when blowing embers ignited a new spot fire that jumped U.S. Highway 395 north of Topaz Lake on the California-Nevada line.

Significant resources are being shifted to the fire's eastern flank along the state line. More than 1,300 firefighters were battling the overall fire, and more resources were on their way.

Crews also continue to provide structure protection farther west in California near Markleeville, Woodfords, and Crystal Springs south of Highway 88, but the worst danger has passed there.

Still, Highway 88 remains closed from the Nevada Stateline to Pickets Junction, while State Route 89 Junction of Highway 88 to Highway 395 and State Route 4 from the junction of Statue Route 89 to Ebbett's Pass are also closed.

Yesterday, we posted this video of a fire whirl to our Instagram (YochaDeheFD) that was captured by YDFD's Firefighter...

Posted by Yocha Dehe Fire Department on Friday, July 23, 2021

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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