California wildfire 49% contained, evacuation orders remain - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

California wildfire 49% contained, evacuation orders remain

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Thick smoke from the Mountain Fire blocks the sun above the evacuated town of Idyllwild. (Gregg Canes/CNN) Thick smoke from the Mountain Fire blocks the sun above the evacuated town of Idyllwild. (Gregg Canes/CNN)

From Christine Theodorou

Firefighters worked Saturday to get the upper hand on a mountain wildfire in Southern California that forced the evacuation of thousands and destroyed a number of homes and vehicles.

The wildfire, burning near Idyllwild and Fern Valley, has burned more than 27,200 acres since it began Monday, fire officials said. The blaze was 49% contained, they said.

With forecasters predicting scatted mountain showers, fire officials hoped to further corral the blaze in the San Jacinto Mountains that has destroyed at least six homes and damaged a handful of others.

"Firefighter safety is a major concern as rain can also bring flooding and create slick and dangerous working conditions," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Saturday.

At the height of the wildfire, evacuation orders were ordered for more than 6,000 people. More than 4,000 homes south of Palm Springs also were threatened.

Evacuation orders remained in effect Saturday for Idyllwild and Fern Valley. Authorities also announced an evacuation warning of the mountain community of Pine Cove, fire officials said, indicating that that area could be evacuated soon.

Evacuation orders were lifted in three communities -- Trails End, Morris Ranch, and Camp Joe Scherman -- on Saturday.

More than 3,400 fire personnel have been dispatched to battle the mountain fire.

Meanwhile, in southwest Oregon, fire crews were working to put out a 500-acre Pacifica Fire burning near the town of Williams.

More than 200 firefighters were working to put out the fire that has destroyed at least one house and was threatening up to 150 buildings as well as an undetermined number of vehicles, fire officials told CNN affiliate KTVL.

CNN's Jennifer Moore contributed to this report.

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