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Most Evacuations Canceled In Southern California Wildfire

Ryan Babroff / AP

A fast burning wildfire burns next to the road near Bear Divide Rangers station and Camp 9 in the Angeles National Forest, Calif., Saturday, July 23, 2016.

Ryan Babroff / AP

UPDATE 6:50 p.m.: A 16,100-acre fire is burning near Big Sur. It's currently 10 percent contained and has destroyed 20 homes and two outbuildings. 1,650 structures are currently threatened. 

UPDATE 6:14 p.m.: The large majority of the roughly 20,000 evacuees from a huge wildfire north of Los Angeles will be allowed to return home.

The U.S. Forest Service said in a statement that residents from all but two evacuated neighborhoods can return at 7 p.m. Monday.

Some evacuees have been away from their homes since the beginning of the weekend. About 10,000 homes had been under evacuation orders. It wasn't clear exactly how many would remain on Monday night.

The fire has burned more than 51 square miles (132.09 sq. kilometers) of ridges and canyons between Los Angeles and suburban Santa Clarita since Friday.

Officials in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, are blaming poor air quality and smoky skies on a pair of California wildfires.

Air pollution agencies in both Nevada cities issued warnings Monday about fires burning outside Los Angeles and along the Central Coast.

Officials say people with respiratory problems, cardiac or lung disease, young children and senior citizens should avoid prolonged periods or heavy exertion outdoors.

The smoke in Las Vegas is coming from a Southern California blaze more than 200 miles away in Santa Clarita that has destroyed 18 homes. Smoke in Reno is blowing from the Big Sur area more than 300 miles away that has destroyed 20 homes.

UPDATE 8 a .m.: Sacramento Metro Fire has deployed a team of firefighters to Southern California to help fight the Sand Fire in Santa Clarita.

The hills north of Los Angeles continue to burn and spew thick black smoke from the wildfire that destroyed 18 homes and prompted thousands of people to evacuate.

Some evacuees were about to return to their homes Sunday, two days after the fire broke out, when unexpected winds stirred up the blaze. One body has been found in the fire area.

Meanwhile, the forest fire burning near the Central Coast's Big Sur has destroyed six homes. Cal Fire says the half-dozen homes that burned Sunday were the first since the blaze broke out on Friday.

Two other structures also burned as the fire grew to 11,000 acres. It is 5 percent contained.

Some 1,600 other homes remain under threat. No injuries have been reported.

The blaze erupted Friday in almost inaccessible terrain.

Original Post: (AP) — Unexpected winds feeding the beast sent a Southern Californiawildfire surging back to life, sending thousands fleeing the flames which have destroyed 18 homes.

One person has been found dead in the fire zone.

County fire chief Daryl Osby says Sunday afternoon it's the most extreme fire behavior he's seen so early in the fire season in his three-decade career.

The blaze has forced the closure of a 40-mile stretch of State Route 14, known as the Antelope Valley Freeway.

Planes have been unable to make drops over the fire, but helicopters are releasing retardant around the perimeter of the blaze. It is 10 percent contained, and thousands of homes are under threat.

Another wildfire about 300 miles up the coast in Central California has destroyed six homes.

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