Banning fire 40 percent contained

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Firefighting aircraft

(AP Photo)

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BANNING, Calif. (AP) — A fire that destroyed a home in rural Southern California is 40 percent contained but winds are kicking up and could make hard work for hundreds of firefighters battling it.

Riverside County fire spokeswoman Jody Hagemann says winds at the fire site north of Banning are hitting 30 mph and could gust to 40 Thursday.

The 4 1/2 square-mile blaze erupted in the San Bernardino Foothills on Wednesday, briefly threatening hundreds of homes.

Hagemann says crews made good progress battling the blaze overnight in tinder-dry brush and there’s only sporadic flame showing. But the winds could change that.

In Northern California, crews were able to hold the line against two wind-whipped wildfires, but one in Tehama County continued to grow.

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