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6,000 flee peaceful California resort as wildfires approach

- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 18, 2013

A California peaceful mountain community called Idyllwild was virtually empty Thursday, as wildfires raging nearby sent an estimated 6,000 residents in the region packing.

An estimated 2,200 homes in that community and others have been evacuated in the past 24 hours, The Associated Press reported. Another 1,900 residences — hotels, condominiums, cabins — were also cleared, the U.S. Forest Service reported.

"Yesterday, [the 30-square-mile fire] was pushing away from the communities," said Forest Service spokeswoman Melody Lardner, in the AP report. "There's a new front moving in that's changing the direction of the winds. It moved in a little earlier than anticipated.

Idyllwild is a popular vacation resort located about 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Thousands also live there on a permanent basis.

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