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California Wildfires Scorch 500 Acres Outside San Francisco Bay Area

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A fire near Byron, California started to spread quickly on Wednesday, growing to include seven wildfires across 500 acres, authorities said.

Firefighters from Contra Costa and Alameda counties were battling flames about 60 miles east of San Francisco, on Wednesday, the Alameda County Fire Department said. The first call came in reporting two separate fires around 1 p.m. Pacific Time, CBS San Francisco reported. But the number of wildfires quickly jumped to seven, in part due to strong winds.

Officials closed roads and shut down at least one school in the area on Wednesday in response to what they’ve named the Grant Fire. And by 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the wildfires were covering 500 acres.

Wildfires devastated parts of California last year, leaving behind historic levels of damage, as nearly 9,000 wildfires burned through 1.2 million acres of land, the Washington Post reported.

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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com