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A wind-whipped wildfire laid siege to a California town at the foot of Mount Shasta — destroying a church, damaging or leveling 100 homes and forcing authorities to order about half the people to leave.

The fire erupted Monday afternoon just south of the town of Weed, and 40 mph gusts of wind blew embers as far as a half-mile away. By sundown, the wind had died down, but the fire had spread across 350 acres and was only 15 percent contained.

“It’s horrible,” Dan Linville, 80, told The Associated Press. “I’ve got tears in my heart for all these people that I know who lost their homes.”

Read more at NBC News

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