The story

Firefighters were making progress Thursday battling wildfires that charred 49,000 acres in Northern California and caused thousands to evacuate, a state fire official said.

They had contained about half of a fire near the town of Paradise in Butte County by Thursday morning, said Fred Orsborn of Cal Fire, the state fire agency.

That was an improvement over assessments Wednesday, when a town official said the firefighters did not "have much containment." Read full article »

CNN's Karl Zimmerman contributed to this report.

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