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Wildfire forces closure of part of freeway in California

CASTIAC, Calif. (AP) – A wildfire near Castaic on Saturday shut down part of a major southern California freeway, officials told local media.

The blaze, known as Route Fire, reached 392 acres, or just over half a square mile, at 6:28 p.m. and forced a section of Interstate 5 to close, the forest said. Angeles National Film Festival on KTLA-TV.

KTLA reported that the Fire Route threatened structures, according to the Santa Clarita Valley station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The fire was not brought under control by 6:30 p.m., authorities said.

Elsewhere in California, thunderstorms that dropped light rains gave some breathing space to teams struggling to put out the state’s massive wildfires, but lightning sparked several new fires in the drought-stricken north fire officials said.

The storms that rolled out from Thursday evening through Friday were followed by clear weather forecasts and a warming trend in fire areas until next week.

The National Weather Service said there were more than 1,100 cloud-to-ground lightning in California between Thursday evening and Friday morning. Firefighters said lightning started at least 17 fires.

Firefighters have been diverted from the massive Caldor blaze south of Lake Tahoe to tackle several nighttime lightning fires in El Dorado County, firefighters said. However, most of the fires were limited to less than 10 acres (4 hectares).

Three new fires have been reported in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in rugged and dense forested areas of the Sierra Nevada.

Up to half an inch of rain fell on parts of the Dixie Fire, which started in mid-July and burned huge swathes of northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades. The second largest fire in California history burned 1,490 square miles (3,859 square kilometers) of land and over 1,300 homes and other buildings. It was 59% content.

The rain has wet the tinder and dry vegetation and will cool the blaze for a day or two, which firefighters hoped to use to strengthen and extend fire lines in an effort to ultimately surround the blaze, firefighters said. .

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