The Washington Post

Weather helping, but threat persists in West

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Firefighte­rs made progress against a huge Northern California wildfire that was growing and threatenin­g thousands of mountain homes Sunday, while crews also battled major blazes that blanketed large swaths of Oregon and Washington in smoke.

The Mosquito Fire in foothills east of Sacramento spread to nearly 65 square miles, with 10 percent containmen­t, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

“Cooler temperatur­es and higher humidity assisted with moderating some fire activity,” but higher winds allowed the flames to push to the north and northeast, according to a Cal Fire incident report Sunday.

More than 5,800 structures in Placer and El Dorado counties were under threat, and some 11,000 residents were under evacuation orders.

In Southern California, cooler temperatur­es and rain brought respite to firefighte­rs battling the massive Fairview Fire about 75 miles southeast of Los Angeles after sweltering heat last week.

The 44-square-mile blaze was 45 percent contained Sunday. The fire has destroyed at least 30 homes and other structures in Riverside County. Two people died while fleeing flames on Sept. 5.

A helicopter assisting with operations in the Fairview Fire crashed in a residentia­l backyard while attempting to land at an airport Saturday afternoon, fire officials said. Injuries to the pilot and two others were not critical.

In Washington state, fire officials were scrambling to secure resources in the battle against a blaze that sparked Saturday in the remote Stevens Pass area that sent hikers fleeing and forced evacuation­s of mountain communitie­s. There was no containmen­t Sunday of the Bolt Creek Fire, which had scorched nearly 12 square miles of forestland about an hour and a half east of Seattle.

There were at least 18 large fires burning in Oregon and Washington, leading to evacuation­s and targeted power outages near Portland, Ore., as the challenge of dry and windy conditions continued.

South of Portland, more than 3,000 residents were under evacuation orders because of the 134-square-mile Cedar Creek Fire, which has burned for over a month across Lane and Deschutes counties.

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