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California crews scramble to keep flames from reaching homes

California crews scramble to keep flames from reaching homes

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - Firefighters are battling a wildfire threatening thousands of homes in the foothills south of Los Angeles that authorities say was intentionally set.

Homeowners wet their houses with garden hoses and aircraft turned hillsides red with retardant on Thursday as flames came perilously close to some homes above Lake Elsinore.

No homes burned but intense flames continued to flare along ridges in the Cleveland National Forest. Crews worried that gusty winds that drove the flames will return Friday afternoon, making their work harder.

About 20,000 people are under evacuation orders and Gov. Jerry Brown proclaimed a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties.

Authorities have charged a local resident with deliberately setting the fire. Forrest Clark is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.


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