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Southern California endures second straight day of wind-stoked wildfires

A fresh series of Southern California wildfires roared to life on Thursday, destroying homes and forcing evacuations, as the region faced a second day of explosively stong Santa Ana winds that have fanned flames, displacing thousands of residents. The most destructive among several new wind-driven blazes in the region erupted hours before dawn on the […]

Southern California endures second straight day of wind-stoked wildfires
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A fresh series of Southern California wildfires roared to life on Thursday, destroying homes and forcing evacuations, as the region faced a second day of explosively stong Santa Ana winds that have fanned flames, displacing thousands of residents.

The most destructive among several new wind-driven blazes in the region erupted hours before dawn on the uneven slopes of the San Bernardino National Forest above the city of San Bernardino, barrelling downhill into the north end of town.

The so-called Hillside fire quickly destroyed more than 200 acres (80 hectares) of dry scrub and damaged at least six homes before firefighters managed to keep the flames from advancing further, fire officials said. As of the early afternoon, crews had managed to carve containment lines around 50% of the fire’s perimeter.

No injuries were reported, but evacuation orders remained in effect for nearly 500 homes, displacing about 1,300 residents.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation. The San Bernardino County Fire Department said on Twitter that no power lines were located where it had originated.

The latest recurrence of Santa Ana winds, howling into the region through mountain passes from the desert, coincided with extremely low relative humidity and a prolonged lack of rainfall that has left vegetation tinder-dry across the region.

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