Source Pravda.Ru

Southern California wildfire forces evacuations

Erratic wind and high temperatures stoked a 2,300-acre (930-hectare) wildfire on Sunday, leading to the voluntary evacuation of about 100 homes, officials said.

The fire was 5 percent contained, said Kathy Ungemach, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino National Forest in California. No structures or homes were destroyed by flames and there were no injuries reported, she said.

The fire was started late Friday in Blaisdell Canyon west of Palm Springs, California, by hikers trying to light a campfire, officials said.

The voluntary evacuation was ordered early Saturday by the sheriff's deputies of Riverside County, California.

Later Saturday, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was ordered closed for the first time in at least 15 years, said Tim Jones, lead supervisor for the tramway. The tram transports passengers to two vantage points in the San Jacinto Mountains up to 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) above the high desert of the Coachella Valley.

In Northern California, firefighters were able to stop the expansion of a 2,300-acre (930-hectare) wildfire that destroyed 30 buildings, injured three firefighters and forced residents of Manton to evacuate, an official said.

Elmer Benson, spokesman for the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the fire, which began Friday, was 30 percent contained and he expected it to be fully contained by Monday morning.

The cause of the blaze remained unknown. Fire officials said it was man-made but have ruled out arson.

In Utah, a 1,500-acre (607-hectare) fire forced the temporary evacuation of 100 residents about 150 miles (241 kilometers) east of Salt Lake City.

In rural southwestern Oregon, officials said a 1,600-acre (648-hectare) fire near Selma was about 40 percent contained. It destroyed five homes after threatening more than 100, AP reported.