58 homes burn in CA

Fifty-eight homes have burned in a 75,000-acre wildfire in California, but firefighters were making progress on Monday.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | July 17, 2006


Fifty-eight homes have burned in a 75,000-acre wildfire in California, but firefighters were making progress on Monday.

Thunderstorms could hit the area this week, and fire officials were concerned that lightning could start new blazes.

An equal - but opposite - risk was that heavy rain could flood the canyons since the fire has stripped the hillsides of water-absorbing vegetation. Flash flooding was a risk for the rest of the week, according to forecasters.

Several thousand firefighters were battling the blaze, which was a combination of the Sawtooth and Millard fires. They reported making some progress on containment by Monday morning, though the fire still covers 130 square miles in the region about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.

A mandatory evacuation was lifted in several areas.

The Sawtooth Fire burned homes in Pioneertown last week, where one death was blamed on the fire. Eleven people have been injured.

Most of the homes are resort-style or large ranch residences, but at least some of the more rural areas are mixed income. Pioneertown is known for its wild west movie sets and props.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in San Bernardino County.

Meanwhile, in Nevada, near the community of Valentine (about 300 miles northwest of Omaha), a large canyon fire destroyed 10 homes. About 200 people were evacuated.


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