2400 Evacuated as California Wildfire Grows

About 2,400 people were forced to flee their homes in the Santa Cruz Mountains because of a wildfire.

Authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order Thursday morning for the entire population of Bonny Doon. The community of about 2,000 residents is located roughly eight miles north of Santa Cruz.

Everyone in the nearby community of Swanton has also been ordered to leave. About 400 people live there, The Associated Press reports.

The fire scorched 2,800 acres of redwoods, oaks and chaparral just north of Bonny Doon and Davenport.

"It's heaven up here, but we always knew we were sitting ducks for something like this," said Jay Todd, a landscaper who fled his home 3 miles from where the fire started near Davenport on Wednesday night. "It's kind of numbing, but I think that whatever happens will be for the best some day, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The cause of the fire was being investigated, said department spokeswoman Megan McFadden said.

Some residents of Bonny Doon left voluntarily before the evacuation order came, Helbard Alkhassadeh said.

"It's not directly affecting them, but they want to be absolutely sure until the last minute," he said before Bonny Doon's evacuation order, CNN International reports.

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