Nightly News   |  July 19, 2013

California wildfire rips across parched hills

The flames from the so-called ‘Mountain fire’ came within sight of Palm Springs Friday, fueled by thick brush that hasn’t burned in 35 years. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>>> in southern california , fire continues to burn, despite over 3,000 firefighters now on the job fighting it. it's closer now to palm springs , california. thousands of people have been evacuated. and miguel almaguer covering for us again tonight, good evening.

>> brian, good evening. flames came within sight here in palm springs , although the city is not in immediate danger, firefighters are certainly out in force. take a look at this blaze. still burning tonight. the conditions are extreme. this fire has burned through thick brush that hasn't burned in some 35 years. the so-called mountain fire broke out monday, at 24,000 acres, some 35,000, excuse me, some 35 square miles of land has been charred. today, nbc news was aboard a water-dropping helicopter based in gardner ranch. the air attack is now at 24-hour operation. under threat, the mountain town of idyllwild is safe tonight, while some have been allowed to return, thousands remain evacuated. the fire is roughly 15% contained. it has cost $9 million to fight it.

>> miguel almaguer, southern california , where it could be a long