Firefighters gain against ′Blue Cut′ blaze in Southern California | News | DW | 20.08.2016
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Firefighters gain against 'Blue Cut' blaze in Southern California

The "Blue Cut" blaze in the US state of California has been contained to some 40 percent, firefighters say. The wildfire has forced tens of thousands of residents to flee and destroyed about 100 homes, officials say.

Firefighters made gains against the flames of Southern California's "Blue Cut" blaze on Friday. The fire, named for a narrow gorge near where it first broke out in the Cajon Pass about 75 miles (120 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, has blackened 37,000 acres (15,000 hectares) of drought-parched heavy brush and chaparral since breaking out on Tuesday.

Despite the heat and wind, by late Friday firefighters had carved out containment lines around 40 percent of the blaze - up from 22 percent the night before. The fire still continued to threaten some 34,500 homes and other structures in communities, including in the ski resort town of Wrightwood, fire officials said.

Authorities have given the all-clear for some of the more than 80,000 residents told to evacuate on Tuesday to return.

The Blue Cut fire, one of nearly 30 major blazes reported to have scorched hundreds of square miles in eight western US states this week, also ranks as one of the most destructive California fires this year. It even rivals the Erskine Fire, which consumed about 48,000 acres northeast of the city of Bakersfield in June, killed an elderly couple and destroyed 386 structures, including about 150 homes.

mkg/tj (Reuters, AP)

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