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Ear to the Ground

California Wildfire Grows in Its Third Day

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Posted on Jul 19, 2013
AP/Meagan Greene/

Wildfire smoke billows near Idyllwild, Calif., from a fire 100 miles east of Los Angeles.

After destroying seven homes and cabins in the mountains above Palm Springs, a Southern California wildfire continues to menace the town of Idyllwild, even as thunderstorms advance.

The fire is located in the San Jacinto Mountains. It grew to roughly 25,000 acres or 39 square miles in just over two days. The U.S. Forest Service said it is 15 percent contained.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Associated Press via The Guardian:

About 6,000 people remained evacuated for a third day as the fire spread in three directions amid the rugged, timbered ridges. Some communities on the eastern edge of the fire were reopened to residents, but about 4,100 homes remained under potential threat.

… Some 3,300 firefighters, aided by nearly 30 aircraft, battled the fire, which stretched from 4,000 feet to 9,000 feet along the mountains. For that reason, crews could be working in temperatures ranging from a comfortable 75 to a scorching 110 degrees.

[U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Kate] Kramer said a storm front was heading toward the region, bringing a 20% chance of rain but also 15-24 mph winds with gusts to 40 mph that could push the flames in erratic ways.

“That’s the double-edged sword of having a front move in,” she said. “It can cause some very unpredictable weather.”

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