By Mary Slosson,Â Reuters
SACRAMENTO–California Governor Jerry BrownÂ declared a state of emergency in threeÂ Northern CaliforniaÂ counties on Wednesday after officials said wildfires in the region had destroyed at least 50 buildings and were threatening hundreds more.
Some 3,000 people have been evacuated as the so-called Ponderosa fire burned through more than 24,000 acres (9,700 hectares) of steep, rugged terrain in the rural counties of Tehama and Shasta, about 125 miles (200 km) north of state capitalÂ Sacramento.
The blaze is 50-percent contained, fire officials said.
Brown also declared a state of emergency in nearbyPlumas County, where a fire has burned through 47,000 acres (19,000 hectares).
Declaring a state of emergency frees up funds to help battle the fires.
Firefighters on Wednesday were expected to start inspecting the damage from the Ponderosa fire, which they surveyed by air on Tuesday.
Efforts to prevent the fire from overrunning the rural towns of Manton andÂ ShingletownÂ have succeeded so far despite high winds and heat, fire officials said.
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