The Latest: Wind fans forest fire in Southern California

AP News
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Posted: Aug 08, 2016 2:36 AM
The Latest: Wind fans forest fire in Southern California

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires burning in California. (all times local):

10:15 p.m.

Firefighters are battling a wildfire in Southern California that grew to more than 2 square miles in mere hours and forced the evacuation of homes near a reservoir.

The fire, which broke out Sunday afternoon in the San Bernardino National Forest, prompted the evacuation order of the sparsely populated Summit Valley area east of the dam.

The fire is burning about 55 miles east of Los Angeles in a remote area near Silverwood Lake, a state recreation area, near the small mountain community of Crestline.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Robert Taylor says 20 mph winds pushed a huge plume of smoke north toward the Mojave Desert.

Officials warn that air quality may reach unhealthy levels in the areas affected by the smoke.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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5:15 p.m.

A rapidly growing forest fire in Southern California has prompted the evacuation of several dozen homes.

A spokeswoman for the San Bernardino National Forest says residents in the sparsely populated Summit Valley area were ordered to leave their homes Sunday afternoon.

Lyn Sieliet says the area is dotted with ranches and farms. An evacuation center was set up in the desert town of Hesperia.

The fire began shortly after noon and quickly grew to more than a square mile. It is burning about 55 miles east of Los Angeles in a remote area near Silverwood Lake, a state recreation area, near the small mountain community of Crestline.

A massive plume of smoke could be seen blowing north toward the Mojave Desert.

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4:25 p.m.

A rapidly growing wildfire is burning in a national forest in Southern California.

The blaze burning in the San Bernardino National Forest began Sunday and quickly grew to more than a square mile.

The fire was burning about 55 miles east of Los Angeles in a remote area near Silverwood Lake, a state recreation area, near the small mountain community of Crestline.

Sections of two state highways were closed because of the fire.

A massive plume of smoke could be seen blowing north toward the Mojave Desert.

More than 350 firefighters were assigned to the fire, and several helicopters and air tankers were also deployed.

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11:57 a.m.

Firefighters are making some progress against two Northern California wildfires.

Fire crews at Lake Berryessa east of San Francisco as of Sunday have a fire that's burned more than 8 square miles 50 percent contained. Firefighters are reinforcing containment lines against the Lake Berryessa fire, which has been burning since Tuesday.

Meanwhile, firefighters say they have a much bigger fire near the Central California coast 45 percent contained. That wildfire has burned 90 square miles in the area of California's popular Big Sur. Flames have consumed 57 homes. Officials said that winds blowing at 20 miles an hour overnight pushed flames higher in the southwest section of the blaze. Fire officials expect to be fighting the Big Sur fire until the end of the month.(backslash)