SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):
Fire crews gained more ground on a wildfire in Northern California overnight as damage inspectors continued to survey the area to determine how many structures have been destroyed or damaged.
The 6-square-mile blaze was 55 percent contained Thursday after destroying at least 268 structures, including 175 homes and eight businesses, in the working-class community of Lower Lake. The fire broke out last weekend.
Damin Pashilk is charged with starting the blaze along with more than a dozen other counts of arson and one of attempted arson in connection with fires dating back to July 2015. The 40-year-old construction worker appeared in court Wednesday, but he did not enter a plea.
Southern California’s big wildfire continues to grow.
The fire command says the destructive blaze has scorched more than 49 square miles as of Thursday morning, up from 40 square miles Wednesday night.
Firefighters continue to battle flames that have climbed the rugged flanks of the San Gabriel Mountains, threatening communities including the ski town of Wrightwood at an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet.
The fire erupted Tuesday morning in Cajon Pass, 60 miles east of Los Angeles, and spread rapidly.
Firefighters have yet to tally property losses but indicate there have been many.
Firefighters battling a 40-square-mile wildfire in the mountains and desert of Southern California face another day of hot and dry weather with gusty southwest winds.
The National Weather Service says red flag warnings for dangerous fire conditions will remain in effect through Thursday evening.
A bit of improvement is expected Friday, with lighter winds and some increase in relative humidity — moisture that helps suppress fire activity.
The fire in the Cajon Pass region 60 miles east of Los Angeles is just 4 percent contained and evacuation orders remain in effect for more than 82,000 people.
Firefighters continue to try to defend communities including Wrightwood and Lytle Creek in the rugged San Gabriel Mountains above Cajon Pass.
San Bernardino County fire officials are uncertain how many homes have burned.
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