Evacuations Lifted in Lake County Wildfire Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Fire crews gained ground Wednesday against the 13,700-acre Pawnee Fire that destroyed 12 homes.

Evacuation orders that covered 500 homes and about 1,000 residents of the Spring Valley area were lifted and people who were forced to flee over the weekend were allowed to return home, Lake County sheriff’s Lt. Corey Paulich said.

About 300 people in a rural subdivision were still under evacuation orders, he said.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire was 40 percent contained as of Thursday morning, up from 17 percent Tuesday.

The blaze burning through dry brush, grass and timber had scorched 13,700 acres (about 21 square miles or 55 square kilometers) since it started on Saturday.

The fire’s spread was slowing but hot, dry weather predicted into the weekend meant the danger wasn’t over, state fire officials warned.