The Latest: More big gains against California wildfire

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) " The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

Firefighters have made major gains on a huge wildfire in Southern California and another wave of evacuees is being allowed home.

Containment on the blaze in San Bernardino County jumped from 22 percent to 40 percent on Friday.

Another wave of evacuees from the city of Phelan has been allowed to go home.

Fire spokesman Brad Pitassi says the situation is looking very good for firefighters.

Officials announced earlier Friday that 96 homes had been destroyed by the fire since it broke out on Tuesday.

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11:25 a.m.

A preliminary assessment shows 96 single-family homes have been destroyed by a huge Southern California wildfire.

Fire spokesman Brad Pitassi also says 213 outbuildings have been destroyed.

Firefighters have made significant progress but the fire continues to burn Friday about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

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11:15 a.m.

Some families who fled a massive wildfire in Southern California are starting to learn about the fate of their homes.

Angie Santore was in school when flames roared through the house she shared with her grandparents, four dogs, six cats and a hamster.

The family ended up in a shelter where they learned from animal rescue volunteers that their house was destroyed and their pets were missing.

The Santore family was among some 82,000 residents in mountain and desert communities 60 miles east of Los Angeles who were ordered to evacuate.

The blaze, which has scorched nearly 58 square miles, was 26 percent contained. An unknown number of homes were destroyed.

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9:40 a.m.

Firefighters overnight made more progress containing a wildfire burning two hours north of San Francisco.

A 6-square-mile blaze was 65 percent contained after destroying at least 300 structures, including 175 homes and eight businesses, in the working-class community of Lower Lake.

More than 1,700 firefighters are battling the blaze that started Saturday and spread to the community's downtown area and many residential neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, some schools in the Konocti Unified School District will open Monday for the fall after the start date was delayed by the fire. Schools in Lower Lake are still being cleaned.

The cause of the fire has been deemed arson. Damin Pashilk is charged with 14 counts of arson in connection with 12 separate fires dating back to July 2015 and one count of attempted arson.

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6:30 a.m.

Firefighters have gained more ground as they work to surround the huge wildfire east of Los Angeles.

The blaze is 26 percent contained Friday morning, up from 22 percent, and open flame is confined to pockets of the fire, which has scorched more than 50 square miles.

Fire spokesman Brad Pitassi says some of the nearly 1,600 personnel working the blaze will be demobilized Friday afternoon.

Pitassi cautions, however, that there remains potential for explosive fire behavior.

Authorities began lifting some evacuation orders Wednesday but it's unclear when all areas will be cleared for people to return.

Some 82,000 residents were ordered out of the area after the fire erupted Tuesday morning.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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