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CALIFORNIA UP IN SMOKE | FIRES BURST OUT OF CONTROL

An explosive brush fire that ripped through hills, canyons and flatlands in the Cajon Pass in less than a day continued to ravage hillsides, leaving veteran firefighters bewildered.


By late Wednesday, the blaze had charred through 25,626 acres and was 4% contained, according to Melody Lardner, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service.


More than 80,000 people in rural San Bernardino County communities have been forced to flee. An unknown number of homes were destroyed, and there is no containment in sight. Officials are bracing for an immense tally of devastation from a blaze fed by strong winds, parched tinder and triple-digit heat. 

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