Evacuation Orders Lifted After Wildfire in California Destroys Homes

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A fast-moving wildfire swept across the mountains outside Bakersfield, California, which led to hundreds of homes being evacuated, as firefighting crews from across the region moved in.

By Monday night, evacuation orders had been lifted — firefighters had the blaze about 50 percent contained.

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With three houses and more than 4 square miles of trees and brush destroyed already, a fleet of helicopters and planes slowed the progress of the fire, even as wind gusts topped 20 miles an hour at times on Monday.

More than $4 million has been spent fighting the flames in the area since they sparked Friday night.

1,100 firefighters were on the scene Monday evening as vacation homes, power lines and communication facilities under threat.

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"[The blaze is] running out of fuel basically, and it is burning downhill, so the fuel load is lighter as it goes downhill to brush and grasses rather than conifers," fire spokeswoman Cheryl Chipman told The Associated Press Monday.

She said lighter winds were also expected in coming days.

—Becky Bratu, with The Associated Press