The Latest: Evacuation orders lifted near California fire
WILDOMAR, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California wildfire (all times local):
Evacuation orders have been lifted for about 200 homes near wildfire in the mountains east of Los Angeles.
The order was called off Friday evening for homes in the La Cresta community south of Lake Elsinore.
The fire in the Cleveland National Forest is now 50 percent contained after burning 850 acres (about 344 hectares) of brush.
No homes have been damaged and authorities say cooler weather and lighter winds should help crews trying to surround the flames. About 1,000 firefighters are involved, along with nearly a dozen aircraft.
The blaze was sparked Thursday by a dirt bike that crashed into a tree and ignited spilled gasoline.
California authorities say they have arrested a man for allegedly starting a fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains that destroyed two homes and injured seven firefighters.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said Friday that 54-year-old Marlon Coy was arrested on suspicion of arson, looting, burglary, causing great bodily injury to firefighters, and destroying forests.
Hart says Coy intentionally started the fire on the night of Oct. 16 after getting into a dispute with a neighbor.
Deputies first detained Coy last week after he was allegedly spotted stealing from evacuated homes. It wasn’t immediately known if Coy has retained a lawyer.
It took firefighters 10 days to contain the blaze that scorched 400 acres in the mountain range south of San Francisco and killed a pet cat.
The blaze started as several other wildfires scorched thousands of acres farther north, killing 42 people and burning thousands of homes and other buildings.
Officials are still investigating what started the huge blazes that burned in Napa, Sonoma, Yuba and Mendocino counties.
Authorities say a Southern California wildfire doubled in size overnight and is now estimated at 700 acres (283 hectares).
The blaze in southwestern Riverside County is still only about 15 percent contained Friday morning.
Cal Fire says the number of homes under mandatory evacuation orders has grown to 200, mostly in the La Cresta community south of Lake Elsinore and west of the city of Murrieta. No structures have burned.
The fire began early Thursday afternoon in the Wildomar Off-Highway Vehicle Area in the Cleveland National Forest, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles.
Evacuation orders and warnings are in effect in communities near a Southern California wildfire.
The blaze was last reported late Thursday to have spread over 350 acres, with only 15 percent containment.
The fire broke out earlier in the day in an off-road vehicle area within the Cleveland National Forest about 70 miles (112 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles.
So far mandatory evacuation orders apply to a small number of semirural homes but more are under warnings in the Riverside County communities of Lakeland Village, Lake Elsinore and Wildomar.
More than 300 firefighters and numerous helicopters and air tankers have been battling the flames.