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Mother Nature helps firefighters battle Calif fire

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By Associated Press

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (AP) — Calm, cool weather Thursday morning dampened a wildfire that destroyed 25 buildings north of Los Angeles, but crews were prepared for afternoon winds that could kick up the flames again, a fire spokesman said.

The blaze had burned about 2¼ square miles and still threatened about 150 homes, but it was 25 percent contained. If the weather cooperates, the fire should be fully surrounded by Friday, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman John Buchanan.

A pattern of cool, moist morning and evening air was helping as nearly 800 firefighters carved fire lines in the eastern foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains, about 70 miles north of Los Angeles.

"I don't even see smoke," Buchanan said Thursday morning. "I was out there. ... All you saw was glowing embers."

The temperature was expected to hit 92 and winds were expected to jump in the afternoon to 14 mph, Buchanan said.

The fire near Old West Ranch broke out Tuesday. On Wednesday afternoon, a few afternoon gusts pushed the blaze into action on its eastern side and swept unburned islands of brush into flame.

"It did make some pretty intense moments," but firefighters anticipated the wind change and dealt with it, Buchanan said.


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