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Deadly Southern California wildfires force thousands to evacuate

An aircraft helps fight the Saddleridge fire by dropping fire retardant along a ridge in Newhall, California on October 11, 2019
An aircraft drops fire retardant along a ridge in Newhall, California on Friday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

At least 3 people have died in wildfires driven by gusty winds in Southern California, where up to 100,000 people were at one point under mandatory evacuation orders, authorities said Saturday, per NBC News.

The big picture: The remains of 2 victims were found in the razed Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park in the Sandalwood Fire in Calimesa, east of Los Angeles, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department tweeted.

  • The Sandalwood blaze began Thursday when a trash truck "dumped a load of burning trash" that spread to vegetation, destroying at least 90 structures, the Riverside County Fire Department said in a statement.
  • In L.A., a man had a heart attack while fighting a fire and later died, AP reports.
  • All evacuation orders in Los Angeles were lifted Saturday evening, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement, after the largest blaze in Southern California, the Saddleridge Fire, "moved away from neighborhoods and into hillsides," per CNN.
  • The Saddleridge Fire was 19% contained Saturday evening, but wind conditions were expected to ease in the evening, the fire department said.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.