284 116 LINKEDIN 4 COMMENTMORE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A wildfire burning in the foothills of Northern California's Sierra Nevada mountain range destroyed 13 homes and 38 other buildings, California authorities said late Sunday.

The Sand fire east of the state capitol of Sacramento had reached 3,800 acres and was 50% contained.

A 2,100-acre fire close to Yosemite National Park, further south in the Sierras, forced evacuations in the small towns of Forest and Old El Portal.

The Sand Fire began Friday in the Sierra Nevada foothills, near Plymouth, and has since raced through more than 6 square miles of drought-stricken grasslands.

CalFire said a vehicle that drove over dry vegetation started the fire, which spread quickly in the 100-degree weather. The fire sent up huge plumes of smoke and worsened air quality in the Sacramento area. More than 1,900 fire-fighters were working to contain the blaze, with their efforts made more difficult by the steep, dry terrain of the area.

Western wildfires : Drone nearly causes air-attack operations to stop

Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1rKa0wW