Southern California residents head home as crews tame fire

Southern California residents head home as crews tame fire

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CORONA, Calif. (AP) — Southern California residents who evacuated because of a powerful wildfire returned to their homes Wednesday after a fleet of aircraft helped crews on the ground extinguish flames that burned next to suburban houses built in canyons.

Officials lifted evacuation orders for 600 residences in the city of Corona, said Orange County Fire Capt. Steve Concialdi.

Authorities were monitoring the behavior of shifting winds that drove the fire when it started Monday and threatened nearly 2,000 residences southeast of Los Angeles.

“If the winds pick up again, we need to make sure that embers don’t blow across the fire lines and onto properties,” Concialdi said.

More than 500 firefighters helped by helicopters and planes beat back the flames on Tuesday. The fire burned one home and charred 3 square miles (7 square kilometers) of dry brush. It was 20 percent contained.

At least eight schools were closed Wednesday, mostly due to poor air quality from smoke that drifted 40 miles (64 kilometers) west to the ocean.

To the north along California’s central coast, a fast-burning brush fire near California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo briefly prompted student evacuations before crews brought the flames under control.

San Francisco Bay Area firefighters stopped the advance of a grass fire in the Oakland Hills neighborhood of Oakland that threatened about 50 buildings and led to evacuations.

Firefighters battle to save homes as Canyon fire continues to burn in 4200 block of San Ramon Drive in Corona, Calif., Monday, Sept .25, 2017. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)
In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 photo, firefighters battle to save homes as a blaze continues to burn in Corona, Calif. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)
In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, firefighters battle to save homes as a blaze continues to burn in Corona, Calif. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)
In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 photo, firefighters battle a brushfire burning off State Route 91, between Anaheim and Corona, Calif. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)
Firefighters battle to save homes as Canyon fire continues to burn in 4200 block of San Ramon Drive in Corona, Calif., on Monday, Sept .25, 2017. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)
Firefighters battle a brushfire burning off State Route 91 between Anaheim and Corona, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)
A firefighter with the Orange County Fire Authority seeks shelter under a patio as the Canyon Fire races towards a home in Corona, Calif., Monday night, Sept. 25, 2017. (Will Lester/The Orange County Register via AP)
A helicopter carrying water flies in front of the moon over the Oakland Hills in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. A fast-moving grass fire threatened about dozens of buildings, including some homes, and prompted some evacuations but fire crews quickly stopped its advance. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A helicopter drops water over a part of the Oakland Hills in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Officials in Oakland say residents were being evacuated from an area near a fast-moving grass fire that was threatening at least 50 structures including several homes. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A helicopter drops water over a part of the Oakland Hills in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Officials in Oakland say residents were being evacuated from an area near a fast-moving grass fire that was threatening at least 50 structures including several homes. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A helicopter drops water over a part of the Oakland Hills in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Officials in Oakland say residents were being evacuated from an area near a fast-moving grass fire that was threatening at least 50 structures including several homes. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A crew of firefighters work along the Oakland Hills in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Officials in Oakland say residents were being evacuated from an area near a fast-moving grass fire that was threatening at least 50 structures including several homes. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A crew of firefighters work along Oakland Hills in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. The fast-moving grass fire threatened dozens of buildings, including some homes, and prompted some evacuations but fire crews quickly stopped its advance. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A helicopter drops water on above homes over the Oakland Hills in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. A fast-moving grass fire threatened about 50 buildings, including some homes, and prompted some evacuations. But fire crews quickly stopped its advance. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)