Speed Reads

california fires

Stolen car sparks wildfire in Southern California

Strong winds sparked new fires in Southern California on Thursday, with two fast-moving blazes breaking out east of Los Angeles.

The Hillside Fire in San Bernardino started before dawn, and quickly burned 200 acres and destroyed six homes, fire officials said. One firefighter was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire, now 50 percent contained, is under investigation.

In nearby Jurupa Valley, a fire broke out around the same time, after suspected car thieves drove a vehicle into a lot and ignited the dry grass. The fire destroyed three houses and two outbuildings, and authorities said they plan on charging the driver and passenger with arson.

Meteorologists expect the dry Santa Ana winds that are fueling the fires to die down by Thursday night. Across the state, more than 350,000 people are without power, as the utilities are afraid that downed power lines could start fires.