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California Briefing / WATSONVILLE

Santa Cruz fire nears containment

June 22, 2008|From the Associated Press

Firefighters moved closer Saturday to containing a Northern California fire that burned several homes, forced hundreds to evacuate and closed a long stretch of coastal Highway 1.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said the 630-acre fire near Watsonville in Santa Cruz County was expected to be contained by late Saturday.

About 650 firefighters were working to contain the blaze, which destroyed as many as 15 buildings, including several homes, according to fire officials.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, the officials said.

It was the third major blaze to hit Santa Cruz County in a month.

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