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Southern California firefighters making progress against worst blaze

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Southern California firefighters making progress against worst blaze

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Firefighters in southern California say they are starting to get on top of a huge wildfire that has destroyed scores of buildings and forced more than 80,000 people to flee their homes.

The Blue Cut fire, named after a narrow gorge near where it started on Tuesday, has been driven by high winds, which have started to die down.

By Friday containment lines had been put in place around 26 percent of the blaze which is feeding on drought-parched heavy brush.

Henry Herrera, public information officer for Cal Fire said: “Fire activity was moderate to minimal last night (Thursday). Most of the fire activity that we saw was to the north of the community of Lytle Creek just south of the community of Wrightwood. That was pretty much the only active area of the fire overnight. The rest of the fire seems to be pretty calm at the moment. Not much growth or fire activity. We’re going to continue to focus on those areas between Lytle Creek and Wrightwood.”

Some people who had been ordered out for their own safety are now being allowed back in to areas considered safe.

Elsewhere evacuations continue as a series of fires threatened tens of thousands of homes.

At a campsite near Santa Barbara they were evacuating from an encroaching blaze which started on Thursday.

Kyle Joachim, who had been camping there with his family, explained they were leaving in a hurry: “We’re going to leave as soon as possible. We’re just throwing all of this stuff in the RV, not packing up the tent, just bringing it down, stuffing it into the car and we’re going to hit the road.”

The Blue Cut fire is the most intense of nearly 30 major blazes burning in America’s western states this week, some blamed on arson.

A prolonged drought and unusually hot weather have made this a particularly bad wildfire season.

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