A massive, fast-moving wildfire in Southern California has forced residents of 300 homes to flee their homes in the middle of the night.
The raging blaze, reported shortly after 6pm Saturday, was sparked by a cooking stove.
The fire along the border of cities Norco and Corona, 35 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, resulted in hundreds of people to being told to evacuate the are area over the weekend.
By midday, Sunday, fire officials said they had contained 35 percent of the fire, which had ravaged the area and grown to 1.6 square miles.
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Engulfed: Smoke and flames loom over the Prado Dam Flood Control Basin behind homes on Cheyenne Road in Corona, California
Damage: The fire threatened hundreds of homes near the Southern California dam
Rescue efforts were helped by cooperative weather combined with hundreds of firefighters who beat back the flames Sunday.
Captain Mike Mohler of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire burned in the Prado Dam Flood Control Basin, where vegetation has not burned in decades.
As a result, the area that is burning has up to 3 feet of ‘duff’ — needles, leaves and other combustible plant debris.
At the same time, California’s drought means the basin has not held much water recently, Mohler said.
Because the smoke was not blowing away, area residents were urged to stay indoors.But the evacuation orders were lifted just before dawn Sunday.
CalFire Captain Liz Brown confirmed that about 500 firefighters worked on the front lines. They were backed up by two helicopters, though fixed-wing aircraft were not being used.
And despite the ferocity of the fire, no property damage or injuries were reported.