Latest: Firefighters fight to curb blaze before winds return
LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):
Firefighters battled through the night to keep a raging forest fire from reaching foothill neighborhoods in Southern California.
The arson blaze in the Cleveland National Forest gained renewed strength Thursday, racing along ridges and coming within yards of homes.
Crews on Friday are allowing some hillsides to burn, to reduce fuel and make it harder for flames to jump roadways later in the day when the winds pick up.
Hundreds more firefighters have joined the battle, bringing the total to 1,200. The fire has blackened 16 square miles (41 square kilometers) of timber and brush and is only 5 percent contained. More than 20,000 residents are evacuated.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties.
A man charged with intentionally setting the fire is scheduled for arraignment Friday.
8 p.m. Thursday
California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency as a wildfire that forced 20,000 people from their homes continues to rage south of Los Angeles.
Brown issued the declaration Thursday for Orange and Riverside counties because of a fire in the Cleveland National Forest that’s threatening thousands of homes.
The fire near Lake Elsinore is devouring brushy foothills, ridgetops and canyons. It’s blackened 16 square miles (41 square kilometers) and is only 5 percent contained.
On Thursday, flames came within yards of some homes.
A man charged with intentionally setting the fire is scheduled for arraignment on Friday.