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Northern California fires spread as rain and cooler temperatures offer slight reprieve

And in Southern California, a storm brought flash floods and mudslides to a still smoldering Riverside County on Monday.

(CN) — A number of wildfires continue to burn through California, even as the brutal heat wave that gripped the region for nearly two weeks has finally broken.

The Mosquito Fire in Placer County northeast of Sacramento grew to nearly 50,000 acres as of noon Tuesday and was about 18% contained. The week-old fire has destroyed 46 structures, including 24 homes, and is the largest of the blazes blackening the Golden State.

"Crews took advantage of cooler temperatures, higher humidity and the inversion layer staying in place for a majority of the day by mopping up and securing their lines while fire activity was moderated," a Cal Fire spokesperson said in a recent statement.

More than 11,000 people in the area have been forced to flee their homes. Smoke from the fire has been pouring into Nevada, filling the air near the California-Nevada border with hazardous fumes. Residents in Placer County have been warned to stay indoors to avoid harmful smoke exposure.

Down in Southern California, crews continue to battle the Fairview Fire in Riverside County, which has charred more than 28,000 acres and was 62% contained as of Tuesday morning. The fire has killed two civilians and injured another, and has destroyed 24 structures.

Residents there not only had to cope with smoke from the blaze, but also with mud and flash floods thanks to former Hurricane Kay, which pounded the Inland Empire with intense thunderstorms over the weekend and into Monday.

No one was hurt during the storm, which left behind it downed power lines, leaking propane tanks and roads buried under mud that in some places was nearly a foot deep. Dryer weather returned Tuesday and was expected to continue.

Meanwhile in Oregon, more than 1,200 firefighters are battling the Cedar Creek Fire, which had ballooned to more than 92,000 acres as of Tuesday morning. Containment on that blaze stands at zero percent.

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Categories / Environment, Regional

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