Firefighters said for the first time Wednesday that they have made good progress battling the state's largest-ever wildfire but didn't expect to have it fully under control until September.
The blaze north of San Francisco has grown to the size of Los Angeles since it started two weeks ago, fueled by dry vegetation, high winds and rugged terrain that made it too dangerous for firefighters to directly attack the flames now spanning 470 square miles.
Crews, including inmates and firefighters from overseas, have managed to cut lines around half the fire to contain the flames, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. The blaze about 100 miles north of San Francisco around the resort region of Clear Lake has destroyed 116 homes and injured two firefighters.
Those lines have kept the southern edge of the fire from spreading into residential areas on the east side of the lake.