Latest: Death toll rises to 3 in Southern California fires

Authorities say three people are now confirmed dead at the scene of destructive wildfires in Southern California.

Posted: Oct 11, 2019 12:30 PM
Updated: Oct 12, 2019 12:34 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Latest on wildfires in California (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Authorities say three people are now confirmed dead at the scene of destructive wildfires in Southern California.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says a second body was found at a mobile home park where 74 structures were destroyed Thursday in Calimesa. Officials had previously reported one death at the community east of Los Angeles.

The department says one of the victims has been identified as 89-year-old Lois Arvikson. Her son Don Turner had said his mother called him to say she was evacuating, but he never heard from her again.

Authorities are working to identify the other victim in Calimesa.

In Los Angeles, a man went into cardiac arrest and died at the scene of a wildfire that broke out late Thursday and damaged or destroyed 31 structures.

Meanwhile, authorities on Saturday lifted some evacuation orders for areas near the LA fire.


8:15 a.m.

Containment is inching up on a smoky Los Angeles wildfire that damaged or destroyed more than 30 structures, as crews take advantage of calmer winds and cooler temperatures.

Officials say the blaze in the San Fernando Valley hasn't grown significantly since Friday. It's 19% contained Saturday morning.

Thousands of people remain under evacuation orders. Authorities warn there's still potential for flare-ups even as weather conditions improve.

Air quality is poor as smoke from the fire settles over much of greater Los Angeles.

To the east, a blaze that ripped through a Riverside County mobile home park, destroying dozens of residences, is 25% contained with minimal growth.

In Northern California, the lights are back on for 98% of customers who lost power when Pacific Gas & Electric switched it off in an effort to prevent wildfires.


12:05 a.m.

Santa Ana winds that drove fires through two Southern California areas have died down but flames that destroyed dozens of homes continue to rage.

A blaze in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles was only 13% contained Saturday after destroying 13 buildings. One man who had tried to fight the blaze died of a heart attack.

The fast-moving fire is keeping tens of thousands of people from returning to their homes until officials are convinced it's safe.

The fire broke out Thursday, just hours after flaming garbage in a trash truck sparked another wind-whipped blaze that ravaged a mobile park in Calimesa, east of Los Angeles.

Several residents of the park were unaccounted for and the family of an 89-year-old woman says they fear she died when her home burned.


2:25 p.m.

The wildfire burning on the northern edge of Los Angeles has grown to more than 11 square miles (28 square kilometers) but there is also some containment.

Officials say the fire is 13% surrounded Friday afternoon.

Authorities have not updated the initial tally of 25 homes damaged. Fire Capt. Branden Silverman says damage assessments are continuing.

Travel through the area remains difficult. The California Highway Patrol says sections of two interstates and one state highway remain closed.


10:30 a.m.

Another death has been confirmed at the scene of wildfires in Southern California.

Cal Fire spokeswoman Cathey Mattingly says a person was killed in a fire that swept through a mobile home park Thursday in Riverside County east of Los Angeles. Mattingly says there were also some injuries but she does not know the number or severity.

Seventy-four structures were destroyed.

The fire is about 823 acres (333 hectares) and 10% contained.

In Los Angeles, a man went into cardiac arrest and died at the scene of a raging wildfire that broke out late Thursday.


8:30 a.m.

Los Angeles authorities say about 100,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes because of a wildfire on the northern edge of the city in the San Fernando Valley area.

Authorities say the wind-driven wildfire burning along the northern tier of the city has damaged at least 25 homes and that 23,000 residences are under evacuation orders.

Police Chief Michel Moore says the evacuation encompasses about 100,000 people.

Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas says the fire broke out around 9 p.m. Thursday and exceeds 7 square miles (18 square kilometers) Friday morning.

There is zero percent containment and the fire continues to threaten homes in the city as well as unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

Terrazas told reporters that a man died of cardiac arrest but he did not have any details of the circumstances.

Schools and colleges in the area are closed and key freeways are shut down.

Water dropping helicopters that worked through the night have been bolstered by firefighting airplanes since daybreak.

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