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Wildfire Chews Through California’s Santa Cruz Mountains

A wildfire burned through bone-dry brush and threatened hundreds of structures in California's Santa Cruz Mountains.

A group of residents who remained despite the mandatory evacuation watch a firefighting helicopter make a drop near their properties along Summit Road near Santa Cruz, California, on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Some evacuations were lifted Wednesday as firefighters, aided by cooler weather, held back the progress of the wildfire.

STEPHEN LAM / Reuters

An inmate firefighter examines a burning structure while battling the Loma Fire near Morgan Hill, California, on Sept. 28.

For the last several days, temperatures have been in the high 90s and near 100 degrees, and were considered "hazardous," by the National Weather Service. But Wednesday's cooler weather conditions were expected to last past the weekend.

Noah Berger / AP

A CalFire firefighter surveys a hot spot in the Santa Cruz Mountains, near Loma Prieta, California on Sept. 28.

Nearly 1,100 firefighters were working furiously to protect the 300 homes and communication towers that stood in the fire's path.

JOSH EDELSON / AFP - Getty Images

Burned-out cars line a property after the Loma Fire burned through Loma Chiquita Road near Morgan Hill on Sept. 28.

It was among three blazes burning in Northern California during a time of year when the drought-stricken state sees its largest and most damaging wildfires, state forestry officials said.

Noah Berger / AP
Fremont firefighter Collin Spencer hoses down a hot spot while battling the Loma Fire near Morgan Hill on Sept. 28. Noah Berger / AP
Fires burn along Loma Prieta Avenue near Santa Cruz on Sept. 27. STEPHEN LAM / Reuters
Alameda County firefighter Wally Armstrong cools down hot spots in front of a residence destroyed by the Loma Fire near Morgan Hill on Sept. 28. Noah Berger / AP
Sampson Spence of Fremont Fire douses flames as they approach a road in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Loma Prieta on Sept. 28. JOSH EDELSON / AFP - Getty Images
Anthony Lopez harvests marijuana plants as the Loma Fire burns around his home near Morgan Hill on Sept. 27. Noah Berger / AP
Flames from a wildfire tower above a firefighter as he tries to stop the blaze from crossing Loma Prieta Ave. near Morgan Hill on Sept. 27. Noah Berger / AP
Firefighters look on as flames approach the Casa Loma fire station in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Loma Prieta on Sept. 27. JOSH EDELSON / AFP - Getty Images

A melted basketball hoop rests in a clearing after the Loma Fire tore along a ridge on Sept. 27 near Morgan Hill.

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Noah Berger / AP