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Massive wildfire rages in California, threatening 1,000 homes

More than 2,000 firefighters battling the 25,000-acre Powerhouse blaze in California inched closer to gaining control over the monstrous inferno early Monday as temperatures cooled, according to officials.The Powerhouse fire was “not carrying well or growing as fast” as it was Sunday, allowing firefighters to gain an “upper hand” over it, said U.S. Forestry Service spokesman Matt Corelli.

More than 2,000 firefighters battling the 25,000-acre Powerhouse blaze in California inched closer to gaining control over the monstrous inferno early Monday as temperatures cooled, according to officials.

The Powerhouse fire was “not carrying well or growing as fast” as it was Sunday, allowing firefighters to gain an “upper hand” over it, said U.S. Forestry Service spokesman Matt Corelli. It was 40 percent contained.

Six homes were destroyed and nine other buildings damaged in the wildfire near the high-desert city of Lancaster, about 65 miles outside Los Angeles, Forestry Service spokesman Lee Bentley told NBCLosAngeles.com. Areas surrounding the blaze were still dangerous Monday morning, with 1,000 homes threatened.

More than 2,800 people were under evacuation orders that likely will not expire until Monday evening or Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

The fire broke out Thursday near a hydroelectric plant known as Powerhouse No. 1 in San Francisquito Canyon, north of Santa Clarita. The cost of fighting the fire was estimated at about $3 million.

In New Mexico, two other fires also raged out of control as of Sunday, one of them consuming 7,476 acres of Ponderosa pine forest in an area known as the Pecos Wilderness, according to Reuters.

"This is a historic drought. We haven't seen a drought like this since the 1950s," Dan Ware of New Mexico's State Forestry agency told Reuters.

Smoke advisories were sent to residents throughout the state after soot and a dense haze filled the air over Santa Fe and neighboring areas.

Related:

PhotoBlog: California's drought-fueled Powerhouse wildfire scorches 25,000 acres

Read more on the Powerhouse fire at NBCLosAngeles.com

NBCLosAngeles.com's Jason Kandel, Brandon Lowrey and Reggie Kumar, and Reuters, contributed to this report.