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Firefighters in California persist in combating a wind-propelled wildfire located east of San Francisco

Corral fire burning (Via Kat West/Shutterstock)

California firefighters made significant progress on Sunday in controlling a wildfire driven by strong winds that burned thousands of acres 60 miles east of San Francisco. The fire destroyed a home and forced residents to evacuate near Tracy, a central California city.

The fire started Saturday afternoon in grassy hills managed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a major center for nuclear weapons science and technology in the U.S. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Officials from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection assured that the research center itself was not immediately threatened by the Corral Fire, which had consumed about 22 square miles by Sunday afternoon. By Sunday evening, the fire was 50% contained.

On Saturday, thousands of people in the area, including parts of Tracy with a population of 100,000, were ordered to evacuate to safety. The evacuation order was lifted on Sunday evening, allowing residents to return home.

Residents evacuate livestock (Via Kat West/Shutterstock)

CalFire Battalion Chief Josh Silveira reported on Sunday afternoon that the fire had approached homes in the area and destroyed one house. With calmer winds and cooler weather on Sunday, Silveira anticipated that the fire would not spread further.

Two firefighters sustained minor to moderate burns on Saturday but were expected to recover fully, according to Silveira.

The wildfire did not pose a threat to any laboratory facilities or operations, confirmed Lawrence Livermore spokesperson Paul Rhien in a statement to The Associated Press early Sunday. As a precaution, the laboratory activated its emergency operations center to monitor the situation over the weekend.

Photographs depicted a wall of flames moving across the dry landscape, with dark smoke rising into the sky.

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