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Feb 19, 6:34 PM EST

The Latest: Most evacuations over California wildfire end


BISHOP, Calif. (AP) -- The Latest on a wildfire burning in central California (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

Most of the mandatory evacuations for a rural California area threatened by a wildfire have been lifted.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Cathey Mattingly says officials are allowing people to return home Monday.

But she says the blaze near the small town of Bishop on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada is still burning and people need to stay vigilant.

Mattingly says five Inyo County roads and the Pleasant Valley Campground are still closed.

Several communities and campgrounds had been ordered to evacuate after the fire broke out Sunday. Officials say at least 500 structures were threatened, including a railroad station built in the 1880s.

Fire crew made some gains Monday, reaching containment of 15 percent.

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1:55 p.m.

Officials say they've made some gains against a wind-driven wildfire in rural central California that's threatening hundreds of buildings.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the fire burning north of the town of Bishop on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada is 15 percent contained.

It has scorched 3.5 square miles (9 square kilometers).

The agency said earlier Monday that 4 square miles (11 square kilometers) of chaparral bush and shrub oak had burned. It says the size changed after more accurate mapping by firefighters.

Several communities and campgrounds were ordered to evacuate after the fire broke out Sunday. Officials say at least 500 structures were threatened, including a railroad station built in the 1880s.

---

9:38 a.m.

Fire officials say a wind-driven wildfire in Southern California tripled in size overnight and is threatening hundreds of structures, including a historic railroad station.

Cal Fire spokeswoman Cathey Mattingly says that as of Monday morning the blaze burning through chaparral bush and shrub oak has scorched 4 square miles (11 square kilometers) north of Bishop in Inyo County.

Inyo County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Carma Roper says mandatory evacuation remain in place for several communities and campgrounds.

Roper says it's not clear how many people had to evacuate after the blaze started Sunday but Mattingly says at least 500 structures are being threatened, including a railroad station built in the 1880s.

Mattingly says the fire broke out shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday near the Pleasant Valley Reservoir and Highway 395 and quickly grew to 900 acres.

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