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California wildfire 49% contained, evacuation orders remain From Christine Theodorou

Mgn Online
Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 9:37am

 Firefighters worked Saturday to get the upper hand on a mountain wildfire in Southern California that forced the evacuation of thousands and destroyed a number of homes and vehicles.

The wildfire, burning near Idyllwild and Fern Valley, has burned more than 27,200 acres since it began Monday, fire officials said. The blaze was 49% contained, they said.

With forecasters predicting scatted mountain showers, fire officials hoped to further coral the blaze in the San Jacinto Mountains that has destroyed at least six homes and damaged a handful of others.

"Firefighter safety is a major concern as rain can also bring flooding and create slick and dangerous working conditions," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Saturday.

At the height of the wildfire, evacuation orders were ordered for more than 6,000 people. More than 4,000 homes south of Palm Springs also were threatened.

Evacuation orders remained in effect Saturday for Idyllwild and Fern Valley. Authorities also announced the mandatory evacuation Saturday of the mountain community of Pine Cove, fire officials said.

More than 3,400 fire personnel have been dispatched to battle the mountain fire.

Meanwhile, in southwest Oregon, fire crews were working to put out a 500-acre Pacifica Fire burning near the town of Williams.

More than 200 firefighters were working to put out the fire that has destroyed at least one house and was threatening up to 150 buildings as well as an undetermined number of vehicles, fire officials told CNN affiliate KTVL. 

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