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Blaze At California Air Force Base Grows To 19 Square Miles

Times Asi / Flickr
 

Times Asi / Flickr

(AP) - Crews are gaining ground against a wildfire at a central California military base burning near launch pads used to send satellites into space.

Firefighters at Vandenberg Air Force Base are focusing Wednesday on the blaze's southeast boundary after it grew to more than 19 square miles. It is 45 percent contained.

Voluntary evacuation orders are in place for about 400 residents of the San Miguelito Canyon area just off the base near Lompoc.

There is no word of any structures threatened on the sprawling base, much of which is undeveloped and rugged mountain land.

More than 1,000 firefighters are fighting the flames that broke out Sunday in a remote canyon. The cause is under investigation.

Officials say there is no immediate threat to the space launch complex.