- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

LAKE ARROWHEAD, Calif. (AP) - Significant progress was made against a forest fire threatening homes in California’s San Bernardino Mountains, while up the coast firefighters sought to prevent a 107-square-mile blaze near Big Sur from encroaching on Highway 1, authorities said Wednesday.

The blaze in the mountains about 60 miles east of Los Angeles grew slightly to more than 12 square miles and containment jumped from 6 percent to 64 percent in 24 hours, the fire command said.

Terrain, heat and wind continued to hinder firefighters’ efforts, however.

Mandatory and voluntary evacuations remained in place for some 5,300 homes between the Lake Arrowhead resort area and the high desert city of Hesperia to the north.

Three school districts in the area were closed due to poor air quality caused by smoke.

On the Central Coast, the huge fire near scenic Big Sur backed further downhill toward Highway 1, forcing a second round of overnight closures due to fire activity along the roadway.

The highway was reopened early Wednesday.

More than 4,800 firefighters are on the lines of the gigantic blaze, which was ignited July 22 by an illegal campfire and has destroyed 57 homes and 11 outbuildings while damaging three more homes.

A bulldozer operator was killed late last month in an accident while fighting the fire expected to be fully contained by Aug. 31.

Among other wildfires in the state, firefighters contained 10 percent of a nearly 8-square-mile blaze in rugged terrain about 8 miles west of the small town of Coalinga in Fresno County.

A 21-mile stretch of Highway 198 was closed in both directions to the Monterey County line.

The fire broke out Monday night and grew rapidly.

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