Aircraft bombarding flames in new Calif. wildfire

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Wildfire near Banning

Wildfire near Banning (Image: Google maps)

BANNING, Calif. (AP) – Air tankers and a water-dropping helicopter are bombarding flames cracking through Southern California bush and brush east of Los Angeles.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller says up to 30 acres burned in the first hour Monday morning north of Banning at the edge of San Bernardino National Forest. Banning is 90 miles east of Los Angeles.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says the fire was reported just before 9 a.m. on what is known as the Banning Bench plateau. There’s a scattering of homes in the area but it’s unclear if any structures are threatened.

The cause of the blaze hasn’t been determined.

About 80 miles to the south, firefighters have nearly surrounded a 1,200-acre wildfire fire that began during a training exercise on the Camp Pendleton Marine Base.

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