Evacuations Lifted as Gains Made on Mountain Fire - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Evacuations Lifted as Gains Made on Mountain Fire

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/The Desert Sun, Crystal Chatham) (AP Photo/The Desert Sun, Crystal Chatham)
Idyllwild, CA -

Southern California authorities are allowing thousands of people to return to homes in communities near Palm Springs as firefighters begin to get the upper hand against a week-old wildfire that has burned across 42 square miles.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department lifted evacuation orders late Sunday morning for Idyllwild, Fern Valley and other communities that had been threatened by the fire between Palm Springs and Hemet.

More than 6,000 people have been out of their homes the past several days.

The fire, which began Monday, has destroyed seven homes and 16 other structures.

The blaze is about half contained.

Firefighters are now making quick headway, however, with the help of strong rain that arrived on Sunday morning.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Firefighters in Southern California aided by heavy rain in the mountains above Palm Springs were starting to turn the tide Sunday on a stubborn wildfire that has burned across more than 40 square miles, destroyed a handful of homes and forced the evacuation of thousands of people.

An inch and a half of rain was measured Sunday morning at the aerial tramway near Palm Springs, with more rainfall expected throughout the day. The moisture helped slow the fire's progress.

"With diminished fire activity, firefighters made great progress with line construction, particularly along the east side towards Palm Springs," said U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller.

With the blaze almost half contained, authorities were able to lift evacuation orders for several communities.

The fire was still far from extinguished, however.

The thunderstorm helping douse the flames could also bring lightning, wind and flooding, said Miller, all hazardous conditions for fire crews.

The mountain wildfire began last Monday and has burned across about 42 square miles. It has destroyed 23 structures, including seven homes.

The fire was less than two miles from Idyllwild on its western flank. It was a similar distance from Palm Springs below on the desert floor, where an enormous plume of smoke could be seen.

Authorities have said the fire was human-caused, but wouldn't say whether it was accidental or intentional. There have been no reports of injuries.

More than 2,600 firefighters were battling the blaze Sunday, using bulldozers, helicopters and other equipment.

  • Share ThisMore>>

  • myFOX Tech

    Sprint Introduces The New Sharp AQUOS Crystal And Family Data Pricing

    Sprint Introduces The New Sharp AQUOS Crystal And Family Data Pricing

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 7:18 PM EDT2014-08-19 23:18:48 GMT
    Sprint had some big news today with the introduction of a gorgeous new Android handset, Sharp's AQUOS Crystal, and new Family plan pricing. 
    Sprint had some big news today with the introduction of a gorgeous new Android handset, Sharp's AQUOS Crystal, and new Family plan pricing. 
  • USDA: Cost to raise child up slightly to $245,340

    USDA: Cost to raise child up slightly to $245,340

    Monday, August 18 2014 2:13 PM EDT2014-08-18 18:13:27 GMT
    A child born in 2013 will cost a middle-income American family an average of $245,340 until he or she becomes an adult, with families living in the Northeast taking on a greater burden, according to a report out...
    A message for new parents: get ready for sticker shock.
  • Footage Shows Huge Crocodile Stalking Tourist in Mexico

    Footage Shows Huge Crocodile Stalking Tourist in Mexico

    Monday, August 18 2014 11:30 AM EDT2014-08-18 15:30:02 GMT
    MUST WATCH video: A tourist in Mexico was captured on video frantically swimming away from a large crocodile, trying to reach the shore before he was the animal's lunch.
    MUST WATCH video: A tourist in Mexico was captured on video frantically swimming away from a large crocodile, trying to reach the shore before he was the animal's lunch.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices