Southern California desert wildfire began as controlled burn - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Southern California desert wildfire began as controlled burn

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Crews are using a pair of water-dropping helicopters in the fight against a Southern California desert wildfire that started as a controlled burn.

San Bernardino County Fire spokeswoman Tracey Martinez said Wednesday that the 70-acre blaze is chewing through heavy growth in a Mojave riverbed that hasn't burned for years. Thefire, which is sending up thick plumes of black smoke, is 30 percent surrounded.

Martinez says the permitted burn by the county regional parks agency was supposed to clear out cattails at Mojave Narrows Regional Park but shifting winds blew it out of control Tuesday afternoon.

The fire in the area near Victorville burned a car and a shed. Mandatory evacuations of several homes and ranches were lifted after several hours.

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