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Modesto Fire Blackens 1,000 acres

A wildfire west of Modesto in Stanislaus County yesterday spread to 1,000 acres. Fire officials say the blaze has burned through dense brush into a restored habitat area for the endangered riparian brush rabbit.

Bill Morrison of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said firefighters were gaining the upper hand by 9 p.m. last night and allowed small fires inside the perimeter to burn themselves out. The blaze threatened several homes but no structural damage was reported.

Its cause is under investigation.