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Heat, wind help spread southern California's 'Lake Fire'

Heat and gusty winds fuel California's "Lake Fire"


Friday, June 19, 2015, 3:15 - Gusty winds and dry undergrowth due to historic drought conditions were fueling a wildfire that sparked Wednesday afternoon near Big Bear Lake, California.

As of Friday morning, the fire had grown to 11,000 acres and was 10% contained, according to a government website.

Approximately 150 structures were threatened, however no structures were believed to be damaged or destroyed as of Friday afternoon. 


KEEP ON TOP OF ACTIVE WEATHER: Visit the Alerts section of the website


Eighty-eight engines, one air tanker, 10 helicopters, an air attack plane, 28 crews, three water tenders and one dozer were deployed to battle the blaze.

"Due to turbulent winds above and near ridge lines, helicopters have been more effective than air tankers in slowing the fire," said officials in a release Friday. 

The so-called "Lake Fire" forced the shutdown of at least one highway and some hiking trails, reported CNN. Five summer camps and several homes near the fire were evacuated.


RELATED: Rich Californians scoff at water rationing, cite inequality


Heavy smoke was reaching the Morongo Valley and Coachella Valley areas, and the Southern California Air Quality Management District issued a Smoke Advisory for those areas.

As of Friday afternoon, officials had yet to confirm what started the fire, but the blaze comes amid a southern California heat wave and historic drought.

Officials fear the drier than normal conditions across the state will raise the risk of rapidly spreading fires this summer. 

RELATED VIDEO BELOW: Town in California running out of water, looking for alternatives.

Source: NBC Los Angeles | CNN Newsource | CalFire  | U.S. Forest Service and San Bernardino County Fire Department 

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