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Wind fuels raging wildfire in California

A fierce fire moved close to subdivisions east of Los Angeles on Wednesday. People on two streets were evacuated. Hundreds of firefighters worked to contain the blaze, as well as six helicopters and six air tankers. 


Flames scorch the hillside north of Banning, Calif., as a brush fire burns in the area Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

AP Photo/The Press-Enterprise, Terry Pierson

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A Southern California wildfire fueled by strong winds was raging through 2 1/2 square miles of Riverside County on Wednesday as wind-fanned fires scorched parts of wine country north of San Francisco.

The fast-moving wildfire about 90 miles east of Los Angeles broke out just after noon and was moving westward through largely undeveloped foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, but it was dangerously close to subdivisions to the south, in Banning.

At least 425 firefighters were working to gain control of the fast-moving fire, which has destroyed one structure, said Jody Hagemann, spokeswoman for the county fire department. Six helicopters and six air tankers were making water drops.

Authorities ordered the evacuation of homes on two streets, but the number of people affected was not immediately known.

Winds of 29 mph were driving the fire, and if they continued, the fire could reach communities in Cherry Valley and Beaumont.

Much of Southern California was under red flag warnings for fire danger due to heat, wind and low humidity levels.

In Northern California, firefighters were battling fires fueled by gusty winds in wine country.


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