More evacuations in Southern California wildfire

2:44 PM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
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IDYLLWILD, California - Fire officials have issued an evacuation warning for 700 homes on the western flank of a wildfire that's growing in the mountains above Palm Springs.

Evacuation of Pine Cove on Friday is recommended as authorities grow concerned about unstable weather causing erratic winds.

The fire in the San Jacinto Mountains has grown to 39 square miles and is 15 percent contained.

About 6,000 people remain evacuated for a third day as the fire spreads in three directions.

Fire spokesman Capt. Mike Lindbery says cooler air Friday combined with ground heat could create a strong convection current, drawing smoke so high into the atmosphere that the top of the smoke column turns to ice.

The smoke column can collapse under the weight of the ice, creating a dangerous downdraft.

The Associated Press

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