US firefighters have been able to contain 73% of the Blue Cut wildfire 60 miles east of Los Angeles in San Bernardino County, officials say.
Firefighters battling the blaze, which so far destroyed 105 residences and 213 other buildings, finally transitioned to the "mop-up phase," officials announced Saturday night.
“Things are extremely positive. We’re checking for additional hot spots that could potentially jump the line,” fire spokesman Brad Pitassi said.
Most evacuation orders, which affected some 82,000 people at the height of the fire, have been lifted, officials said.
However, about 7,000 people remained under mandatory evacuation orders, mostly around the areas of Wrightwood and Lytle Creek.
Nearly 2,700 firefighters and crew were battling the wildfire, which began on Tuesday and burned more than 37,000 acres.
“It’s like a nightmare,” said Johanna Santore, who was among those left homeless. “I’m actually feeling numb.”
“We don’t plan on rebuilding,” said Johanna Santore, another resident. “We plan on leaving.”
California is undergoing its fifth year of a record drought and is being hit by an extreme heat wave.
Another fire, which began last Saturday some 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of San Francisco, has scorched nearly 4,000 and destroyed 299 structures so far.
Of those structures, 189 were single-family homes, eight were commercial structures and 102 were other structures, including shed and small outbuildings.
Damin Pashilk, 40, was arrested on Monday and faces 17 counts of arson over the destructive Clayton Fire, which is one of a dozen major wildfires across the drought-hit US West.