Breaking News Emails
All evacuation orders were lifted Sunday and utility companies were working to get service back up as fire crews came closer to wrestling control of the 37,000-acre Blue Cut Fire in southern California.
The fire in the Cajon Pass in San Bernardino County was 85 percent contained, the joint state/federal incident management team said Sunday night. "WELCOME HOME!!" the team said in an announcement that declared that all evacuation orders — which at one time affected more than 82,000 people — were rescinded.
No deaths have been reported, but at least 105 homes were destroyed, said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. San Bernardino County remained under a smoke advisory Sunday evening.
The fire started Tuesday morning and rapidly grew into a large wildland fire about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. At various points over the last five days, railroad lines, State Highway 138 and Interstate 15 were all closed.
The cause remains under investigation, authorities said.
In northern California, evacuation orders remained in effect for several communities around Lake Nacimiento as the Chimney Fire grew to 24,096 acres Cal Fire said. Containment was at only 35 percent Sunday.
Forty-eight buildings had been destroyed by Sunday, and about 230 others remain threatened, Cal Fire. Among those under threat are the famous Hearst Castle in San Simeon, which was closed Sunday and will remain closed Monday after flames reached a ridge approaching the landmark and threatened its water system, the state Parks Department said.
The mansion, which was built at the commission of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, was the model for the cavernous Xanadu estate in Orson Welles' film "Citizen Kane."
A contingency plan to move some of the estate's priceless 25,000-piece art and antique collection has been drawn up should it be needed, Dan Falat, a state parks superintendent, told The Weather Channel.
Cal Fire said it expects to have the fire contained by Aug. 29.