Most who fled huge Northern California wildfire return home

The charred remains of a property is shown near Clearlake, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Crews backed by important firefighting resources are gaining ground against a massive Northern California wildfire, but it may be several days before thousands of evacuees can return home, officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

CLEARLAKE OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Fire officials say most residents who evacuated during a fierce Northern California wildfire have been allowed to return home as crews reopened two highways that were used as fire breaks.

Highway 16 and Highway 20 were reopened Friday.

Forty-three homes have been destroyed in the blaze that started July 29 and is burning about 100 miles north of San Francisco.

Some 12,200 people were ordered or advised to evacuate as the wildfire chewed through nearly 109 square miles of dry brush.

About 800 of the 1,200 who were ordered to evacuate went home Thursday night.

Still, some roads and homes will remain off-limits as firefighters work to put out hot spots.

Hugo Patino, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, says the fire is 45 percent contained.

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