80,000 Evacuated as|SoCal Wildfire Rages

     LOS ANGELES (CN) — A wildfire raging out of control 60 miles east of Los Angeles doubled in size overnight to 30,000 acres, triggering the emergency evacuation of tens of thousands of people by Wednesday morning.
     The Blue Cut Fire swept through Cajon Pass between the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains Tuesday morning, prompting evacuation orders that affect more than 80,000 people. More than 34,000 homes are threatened.
     The fire at Cajon Pass, west of Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is zero percent contained. As of Wednesday morning the number of homes destroyed by the fire was unknown, but news images showed skies blackened by suffocating smoke and homes up in flames.
     “There is imminent threat to public safety, rail traffic and structures in the Cajon Pass, Lytle Creek, Wrightwood, Oak Hills, and surrounding areas,” a statement by InciWeb Incident Information System said. “Please follow the evacuation instructions, as this is a very quickly growing wildfire. An estimated 34,500 homes and 82,640 people are being affected by the evacuation warnings.”
     California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for San Bernardino County on Tuesday.
     More than 1,300 fire personnel, 150 fire engines, 18 fire crews, 10 air tankers, and eight helicopters are battling the wildfire.
     The origin of the fire is unknown, but California’s five-year drought and recent triple-digit temperatures have left the state reeling from several devastating fires.
     In years past, wildfire season began in the fall. But Californians now endure what appears to be the new normal: year-round wildfires.
     According to Cal Fire, there are currently eight major wildfires burning in the Golden State from San Bernardino County north to Humboldt County. The largest, the Soberanes Fire near Big Sur in Monterey County, has consumed nearly 77,000 acres since it began — sparked by an illegal campfire — on July 23.

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