The Latest: Fire crews make gains in massive blaze

AP News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2016 10:06 PM
The Latest: Fire crews make gains in massive blaze

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

7 p.m.

Fire crews have made gains against a massive wildfire burning in rugged terrain near the scenic Big Sur region. Containment is now at 10 percent.

Fire officials say the blaze also grew Monday to 25 square miles (64.75 sq. kilometers).

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says more than 1,300 personnel are battling the fire burning in hard-to-reach, rugged mountainous terrain.

It has destroyed 20 homes since it started Friday. Cal Fire is not releasing the exact location of the homes to prevent looting.

No one has been injured.

Fire officials also ordered more mandatory evacuations for portions of the Carmel Highlands community. An evacuation center is opened at the Carmel Middle School in the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

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6 p.m.

The large majority of the roughly 20,000 evacuees from a huge wildfire north of Los Angeles will be allowed to return home.

The U.S. Forest Service said in a statement that residents from all but two evacuated neighborhoods can return at 7 p.m. Monday.

Some evacuees have been away from their homes since the beginning of the weekend. About 10,000 homes had been under evacuation orders. It wasn't clear exactly how many would remain on Monday night.

The fire has burned more than 51 square miles (132.09 sq. kilometers) of ridges and canyons between Los Angeles and suburban Santa Clarita since Friday.

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5:04 p.m.

Officials in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, are blaming poor air quality and smoky skies on a pair of California wildfires.

Air pollution agencies in both Nevada cities issued warnings Monday about fires burning outside Los Angeles and along the Central Coast.

Officials say people with respiratory problems, cardiac or lung disease, young children and senior citizens should avoid prolonged periods or heavy exertion outdoors.

The smoke in Las Vegas is coming from a Southern California blaze more than 200 miles (321.85 kilometers) away in Santa Clarita that has destroyed 18 homes. Smoke in Reno is blowing from the Big Sur area more than 300 miles away that has destroyed 20 homes.

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2:45 p.m.

Erratic winds are fanning a huge wildfire in the San Gabriel Mountains just north of Los Angeles.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Justin Correll says the fire is extremely active Monday afternoon and is burning in multiple directions.

The fire has burned more than 51 square miles (132.09 sq. kilometers) of ridges and canyons between Los Angeles and suburban Santa Clarita since Friday.

At least 18 homes have been destroyed, including the homes of three firefighters.

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2:10 p.m.

A massive wildfire outside the scenic Big Sur region on California's Central Coast sparked a spot fire, charring another 1,000 acres Monday.

More than 1,300 personnel are battling the original 23-square-mile fire, which is burning mostly out of control in hard-to-reach, rugged mountainous terrain.

It has destroyed 20 homes. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is not releasing the exact location of the homes to prevent looting.

No one has been injured.

Fire officials advised residents of nearby communities to be prepared to leave immediately if a voluntary or mandatory evacuation order is issued. An evacuation center is open at a school in Carmel-By-The-Sea.

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10:30 a.m.

Authorities say a wildfire outside the scenic Big Sur region on California's Central Coast has destroyed 20 homes, up from six.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Monday that the blaze has forced evacuations and is threatening 1,650 mountain homes in the region. No one has been injured.

More than 1,300 personnel are battling the 23-square-mile fire, which is burning mostly out of control in hard-to-reach terrain.

Fire officials advised residents of nearby communities to be prepared to leave immediately if a voluntary or mandatory evacuation order is issued. An evacuation center is open at a school in Carmel-By-The-Sea.

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8:05 a.m.

A wildfire outside the scenic Big Sur region on California's Central Coast has grown to more than 23 square miles as the fire charged uphill in an area that's difficult to access.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says no one has been injured, but the fire has destroyed six homes and forced evacuations. The fire is threatening 1,650 mountain homes in the region.

More than 1,300 personnel are battling the blaze that's mostly burning out of control.

Fire officials advised residents of nearby communities to be prepared to leave immediately if a voluntary or mandatory evacuation order is issued. An evacuation center is open at a school in Carmel-By-The-Sea.

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6:10 a.m.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department says about 10,000 homes have been evacuated as crews protect mountain and canyon communities from a ferocious wildfire that's destroyed 18 houses.

Officials said late Sunday that the blaze had burned through at least 51 square miles of brush north of Los Angeles — but that number is expected to jump Monday when better assessment is done at daylight. It's just 10 percent contained.

Helicopters made water drops through the night.

The Fire Department's incident web page says about 20,000 residents have been ordered from their homes. New evacuations were put in place Sunday as the blaze roared to the northeast through Angeles National Forest toward the city of Acton.

Metrolink commuter rail service has been canceled between the Acton, Palmdale and Lancaster stations.