SoCal Fire Forces Evacuation of Mountain Town

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

HEMET, Calif. (AP) - A wildfire in the Southern California mountains shut down the famed Pacific Crest Trail and was threatening a popular tourist destination, forcing the evacuation of an estimated 6,000 residents and tourists.

The blaze about 100 miles east of Los Angeles had grown to more than 35 square miles in size and had destroyed at least six houses and mobile homes.

By midday Thursday, flames wreathed a ridge above the town of Idyllwild and were about 2 to 3 miles away.

Fire officials said the blaze was just 15 percent contained.

Nearly 3,000 firefighters and more than a dozen aircraft were assigned to the fire. Authorities said two large firefighting aircraft from the California Air National Guard were ready to help on request.


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