Schools shut down as California fire continues to grow

Los Angeles Times

A wildfire in the mountains of Southern California grew to nearly 7,000 acres and shut down local schools Tuesday. 

The San Bernardino County fire has scorched 6,963 acres and is 6% contained, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Bob Poole. An estimated 5,000 homes are under voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders, Poole said.

Since it was first reported about noon Sunday, the fire spread quickly in dry brush and timber. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Two school districts have canceled classes Tuesday because of the fire.

More than 900 firefighters are assigned to the fire, Poole said, which is “pretty active” around its southeastern boundary. The priority Tuesday is to protect nearby communities, Poole said. 

There has been no structural damage to homes in the rugged rural area, which has several horse ranches. “Incredibly dry vegetation” has posed challenges in the firefight, Poole said.

“It’s just very receptive to the fire and we’re just seeing spotting and very aggressive fire behavior,” Poole said.