Calif. wildfire growing as mountain town evacuates

Looking at the blackened landscape from the Mountain Fire near Lake Hemet on Tuesday July 16, 2013. (AP Photo/The Press-Enterprise, Frank Bellino)
Looking at the blackened landscape from the Mountain Fire near Lake Hemet on Tuesday July 16, 2013. (AP Photo/The Press-Enterprise, Frank Bellino)

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (AP) – A Southern California wildfire that destroyed seven homes and cabins in the mountains above Palm Springs is growing in size and now firefighters are keeping an eye on the weather.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Kate Kramer says the fire grew overnight to around 24,818 acres – roughly 39 square miles – and it’s only 15 percent contained Friday morning.

The fire is burning in several directions in the San Jacinto Mountains and continues to threaten the town of Idyllwild. About 6,000 people remain evacuated.

Kramer says a thunderstorm could move in Friday bringing gusty, erratic winds and possibly lightning, with only a 20 percent chance of rain.

Some 3,300 firefighters, aided by aircraft, are working in steep, timbered areas.

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