California Wildfires Now 98 Percent Contained

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)- California fire officials say the thousands of blazes sparked by a massive lightning storm are 98 percent contained after burning for more than a month.

Of the more than 2,000 fires ignited during the June 21, only 27
were actively burning Friday.

The progress is prompting the Monterey County Sheriff's Department to life the remaining road closures and voluntary evacuation orders in effect near Big Sur on Friday evening.

Fire officials warn that fire danger remains very high throughout the state. Several small communities still under mandatory evacuation orders because of a wildfire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-25-08 1512EDT

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