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Desert Wildfire Rages

Two firefighters keep an eye on the Sawtooth fire burning in a canyon in Morongo Valley Friday afternoon. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
The Sawtooth fire rages in a canyon in the Morongo Valley. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
A firefighting team sets a backfire in the Morongo Valley. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
A helicopter aims to drop water in a canyon in the Morongo Valley. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
A helicopter positions itself to drop water over a fire burning in a canyon in the Morongo Valley. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Two firefighters keep an eye on the Sawtooth fire burning in a canyon in Morongo Valley on Friday afternoon. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Fire burns close to a structure in a canyon in the Morongo Valley Friday afternoon. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
The raging flames of the Sawtooth fire sweep through a canyon in the Morongo Valley. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Standing atop their fire engine, Joe Valencia, left, and Justin Shuman of the U.S. Forest Service keep on eye on the front line of the Sawtooth Fire in the Mission Creek Preserve off Highway 62 in Desert Hot Springs. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
An ominous smoke cloud floats over Big Bear Lake while boaters and fishermen enjoy a warm summer day. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
The Millard Fire, left, burns closer to the Sawtooth Fire, right, at the end of Whitewater Canyon Road in Whitewater. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
Sawtooth fire burns a canyon in Morongo Valley on Friday morning. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
One of many helicopters fighting the Sawtooth fire in the Morongo Valley picks up water from a staging area set up behind Morongo Casino in Cabazone. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
A fire crew walks through a canyon in the Morongo Valley to create a fire-break. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Jon and Theresa Kobaly, who live on Adeline Way, wave to the firefighters arriving to fight the fire in a canyon in the Morongo Valley. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Firefighters David Lange, left, and Tad Mannino, from San Marcos, stand under the shade of structure while monitoring the fire in a canyon in the Morongo Valley. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Aircraft drop fire retardant on the wildfire threatening Morongo Valley inhabitants Thursday afternoon. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
A California Department of Forestry helicopter monitors the leading edge of the Millard Fire in Morongo Valley. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
Gabe Wignall, 28, of Morongo Valley uses a garden hose to keep his property wet as the Millard Fire crests the ridge in the background. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
Judith Lindley of Morongo Valley tries to calm her cats during evacuation from the Millard Fire. Lindley runs an animal rescue and was able to evacuate 23 of her 28 cats. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
C.J. Sanden, left, and Donna Munoz, right, console JoAnne Kretschmer in front of the burned remains of her home in Pioneertown. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
Firefighters struggled with desert winds and blistering heat Thursday as they battled a 37,000-acre wildfire edging toward San Bernardino National Forest. The fire, ignited during the weekend by lightning, had destroyed 42 houses, 55 other buildings and 91 vehicles in and around the high desert community Yucca Valley, Calif., 100 miles east of Los Angeles, authorities said. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Residents of Morongo Valley, Calif., were given mandatory evacuation orders Thursday afternoon. Kevin Waara hands over his dog, Britiny, to Denise Searcy of Rialto Animal Control, before evacuating. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
As the Millard wildfire burns out of control in the background, Fernando Lopez, 11, of Indio stays cool in the Whitewater River just east of Cabazon, Calif. With temperatures hovering at 105 degrees, firefighters continue to battle the Millard fire and the Yucca Valley Sawtooth fire. Fire authorities fear the two fires may merge. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
A fire crew keeps an eye on a fast moving wildfire and sets backfires to protect structures in Pioneertown on Wednesday morning. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
A fire crew races to save a structure from a wildfire along Pioneertown Road in Pioneertown. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Fire crew members keep an eye on a fast moving wildfire and set backfires to protect structures in Pioneertown. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
A fire crew watches a wildfire from Pioneertown. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
A helicopter makes a water drop to protect structures threatened by a wildfire in Pioneertown. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Riverside County firefighter Bill Farmer douses smoldering remains from a structure gutted on Tuesday by a wildfire in Pioneertown. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Lawna Wilson, 49, who lost her home to wildfire in Pioneertown, is comforted by daughter Melynie Schiel, left, and son Keith Wilson. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
John Wilson, 57, recovers a burnt hand-gun from the remains of his home in Pioneertown. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Six-year-old Ayriel Fonseca surveys the burnt remains of her grandmother Lawna Wilson’s home in Pioneertown. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Bill Farmer of the Riverside County Fire Department douses the smoldering remains of a structure gutted on Tuesday by a wildfire in Pioneertown. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
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