A wildfire burns in Riverside, Calif. Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. Strong winds fanned new Southern California wildfires on Thursday, burning homes and forcing residents to flee their homes in a repeat of the frightening scenario already faced by tens of thousands across the state. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

All evacuations lifted for Southern California wildfire

Firefighters have contained 50% of the blaze

Authorities lifted all evacuation orders as firefighters made progress Sunday on a large blaze that sent thousands fleeing homes and farms northwest of Los Angeles.

Crews working in steep terrain were tamping down hotspots and keeping an eye on lingering gusts in mountain areas that could carry embers, said Ventura County Fire Capt. Steve Kaufmann.

“I’d say we’re cautiously optimistic,” Kaufmann said, citing calmer winds overall and rising humidity levels.

Firefighters have contained 50% of the blaze, which has burned nearly 15 square miles (39 sq. kilometres) of dry brush and timber. Three buildings were destroyed.

More than 11,000 people evacuated after the flames spread Oct. 31 during dry winds that fanned fires across the state this fall.

In his first recent comments on the California fires, President Donald Trump threatened to cut U.S. aid funding to the state.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has done a “terrible job of forest management,” Trump tweeted. When fires rage, the governor comes to the federal government for help. “No more,” the president tweeted.

Newsom replied with a tweet of his own: “You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation.”

The state controls a small percentage of forest land. The federal government manages most of it. Neither of the two major fires currently burning in California are on forest land.

Last year Trump made a similar threat as wildfires devastated Malibu and Paradise, California — accusing the state of “gross mismanagement” of forests.

At the time Newsom defended California’s wildfire prevention efforts while criticizing the federal government for not doing enough to help protect the state.

In Northern California, more people returned to areas evacuated from a huge fire that burned for days in the Sonoma County wine country.

The 121-square-mile (313-square-kilometre) fire was 76% contained on Sunday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The tally of destroyed homes reached 175 and there were 35 more damaged, authorities said. Many other structures also burned.

The causes of both fires were under investigation but there was a possibility that electrical lines might have been involved — as was the case at other recent fires.

Southern California Edison said Friday that it re-energized a 16,000-volt power line 13 minutes before the fire erupted in the same area of Ventura County.

Edison and other utilities around the state shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people last week out of concerns that high winds could cause power lines to spark and start fires.

Southern California Edison will co-operate with investigators, the utility said.

READ MORE: Los Angeles wildfire forces residents, celebrities to flee

READ MORE: Electrical crews from B.C. sent to California wildfires

___

Christopher Weber, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leaders of Tomorrow kicks off Jan. 16

Nominations accepted for youth recognition until Feb. 22

Team improves access to addiction, mental health supports

Service provides expanded on-call consultation

Hang up on the phone fraudsters

If the phone call seems kind of crazy…

Pinpointing innovations

How precision spraying system helps Kings Lake Hutterite Colony save time, products and water

County gravel pit requires wetland solution

County of Wetaskiwin hears report about wetlands at Hilgartner pit

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Alberta premier wants federal government to do more about opioid imports

Jason Kenney says Canada should find ways to cut down on drugs being smuggled into the country

Alberta Energy Regulator laying off staff, restructures, deals with budget cuts

Gordon Lambert, interim CEO, says the changes are part of a restructuring

Energy companies owe more than double the tax to Alberta municipalities

Survey says communities are owed $173 million — up 114% since last spring

No gondola from Banff to Mount Norquay, feds say

Parks Canada dismisses proposal for gondola, Grizzly Pavilion and boardwalks

Most Read