Controlled burn, winds sparked Southern California desert wildfire that prompted evacuations


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VICTORVILLE, California — Authorities say a Southern California desert wildfire that forced evacuations of homes east of Los Angeles started as a controlled burn.

San Bernardino County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig says the permitted burn by the county regional parks agency was supposed to clear out cattails in a riverbed at Mojave Narrows Regional Park but gusty, shifting winds blew it out of control Tuesday afternoon.

The fire quickly grew to 70 acres in the area near Victorville. It burned a car and a shed and prompted evacuations of homes and ranches nearby.

About 200 firefighters and four helicopters fought the flames as they raced through tinder-dry brush and trees.

By Wednesday night, the fire was holding steady and mandatory evacuations were lifted.

The fire is 30 percent surrounded and Hartwig says crews hope to contain it by Wednesday.

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