Fire burns 3,500 acres in California national forest

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FRAZIER PARK, Calif. (AP) — Cooler temperatures and lighter winds gave hundreds of firefighters a slight reprieve Thursday with a 3,500-acre wildfire that has blackened rugged terrain in the Los Padres National Forest.

The fire that broke out Wednesday charred 3,500 acres of dry, thick trees despite a heavy aerial effort to beat back flames in the largely unpopulated area.

The blaze was 15 percent contained.

No structures were threatened although a high school was evacuated as a precaution. No injuries have been reported.

The fire near Interstate 5 through Frazier Park, where Kern and northern Los Angeles counties meet, could be fanned by winds that may reach up to 35 mph Thursday. The blaze started just before 1:30 p.m. PDT Wednesday and initially burned thick brush, seasonal grasses and sage but then moved into the trees.

The cooler weather helped firefighters overnight clear brush and create breaks in hopes of slowing the blaze. Efforts on Thursday will be focused on the southern edge of the fire, and an aerial assault of helicopters and tankers will help snuff out flames that can’t be reached by ground crews, authorities said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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