California: wildfire very close to San Diego

Firefighters hoped cooler weather Wednesday would help them combat the blaze, which has burned 16,400 acres over four days through Cleveland National Forest east of San Diego. The blaze was about 15 percent contained, officials said.

The fire triggered an evacuation of the small community of Carveacre, and a half-dozen other little clusters of homes were on notice they might be next. Officials said homes in and around Lake Morena Dam, Pine Valley, Potrero and Guatay remain threatened.

The National Weather Service predicted high temperatures in southern California would dip Wednesday for the first time in 10 days. Highs were forecast to be in the low 30s C (90s F) near the San Diego County fire lines.

In Los Angeles, a small blaze caused tense moments at midday Tuesday as it raced among expensive homes in Benedict Canyon above Bel Air Estates and Beverly Hills. One home was damaged.

Firefighters on pool decks and patios hosed down smoking slopes as helicopters made water drops. With little to no wind to fan it, the blaze was fully contained after scorching about 15 acres (6 hectares).

At least five firefighters around the state have suffered heat-related illnesses during the 10-day heat wave, officials said.

Elsewhere in California, a blaze ignited by lightning on ranch land east of San Ardo in southeastern Monterey County grew to 13,000 acres (5,200 hectares), equal to about 20 square miles (52 square kilometers), and was 66 percent contained.

In counties northwest of Los Angeles, firefighters were battling two major lightning wildfire clusters in Los Padres National Forest. The 2,200-acre (890-hectares) San Rafael complex was burning in rugged terrain near Cuyama. On the southern end of the forest, the 2,203-acre (890-hectare) Mount Pinos complex was 52 percent contained.