With a heat wave continuing to bake California and the rest of the West, wildfires forced nearly 8,000 people to dash for safety Sunday as flames destroyed homes and threatened thousands of structures across the state.

Along the Central Coast, firefighters battled two major blazes on opposite ends of Santa Barbara County. Efforts Sunday focused on protecting mountain peaks that hold crucial communication and electrical infrastructure, including a high-voltage line that carries power to Santa Barbara and neighboring cities.

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