Wildfire destroys homes, threatens others in NorCal

California

The blaze started in a wildlife area and spread to residential neighborhoods. (Photo: Suisun City Fire Department/Facebook)

SUISUN CITY, Calif. (CNN) — Firefighters were battling a 300-acre wildfire near the Suisun City Wildlife Center in the San Francisco Bay Area Thursday, a day after it destroyed home and threatened dozens of others.

Firefighters responded immediately to a call received at 3:26 p.m. local time Wednesday, according to Suisun City Fire Chief Justin Vincent.

When the fire department arrived, there were people trying to evacuate as many animals as possible, Vincent said. The department told the people if they left, firefighters would run back into the flames and try to release the animals. Foxes and coyotes were released along with other animals, but some of the birds were lost — including some flightless owls.

There have been no injuries to the public or firefighters at this time, Vincent said.

Heavy winds and a temperature of over 100 degrees have accompanied the fire, which spread from the wildlife center to homes in Suisan City.

At least seven homes have been lost, about 15 are directly threatened and more than 100 are indirectly threatened, Vincent said Wednesday. Half of the firefighters are battling the fire and half are trying to save structures.

The fire was still not under control Wednesday night.

Cal Fire is handling air operations with helicopters and planes doing retardant and water drops across the city. There are about 200 firefighters on scene with 24 engines, two aircraft, Cal Fire hand crews and bulldozers. Solano County Fire investigation unit and the Suisun City Fire Marshal are trying to determine the cause and origin of the fire.

The Salvation Army Kroc Center, Red Cross, VFW and other local groups are helping those who lost their homes. Suisun City is about 4.1 square miles with 30,000 residents.

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