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2 people confirmed killed in Southern California wildfires as thousands of evacuees return home

Firefighters in Southern California are working around-the-clock to contain fast-moving wildfires. CNN's Paul Vercammen spoke with Granada Hills, California, resident Eyad Jarjour, who said neighbors alerted him to the looming Saddleridge Fire.

Posted: Oct 13, 2019 12:20 PM
Updated: Oct 13, 2019 12:20 PM

Two people have been killed in wildfires in Southern California, authorities said Saturday. As firefighters continued to battle multiple blazes in the region, tens of thousands of evacuees were cleared to return home.

The Sandalwood Fire in Calimesa, some 70 miles east of Los Angeles, has killed an 89-year-old woman in a mobile home, and another person who has not yet been identified, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said.

The fire, which started as a trash fire that spread to vegetation, has destroyed at least 90 structures since it began Thursday, fire officials said. It has burned more than 820 acres and was at least 25% contained as of Saturday.

In Los Angeles, all evacuation orders were lifted Saturday after the Saddleridge Fire -- the largest of the fires currently burning in Southern California -- moved away from neighborhoods and into hillsides.

The blaze remained 19% contained as the strong Santa Ana winds appeared to have given firefighters a break on Saturday.

The fire has destroyed 31 homes and burned more than 7,500 acres, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

As tens of thousands of evacuees returned, Monica Silver and her family found their home completely charred. Her friends started fundraising to help them and her children's teachers offered to buy backpacks and school books.

"We feel loved, we feel very loved," Silver said.

Firefighters were planning to continue using air tanks to ensure the fire does not breach containment lines on Saturday, the fire department said.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District was telling residents to protect themselves from heavy smoke and unhealthy air conditions.

Strangers rescued 40 horses trapped in a burning ranch

When a ranch worker reached out for help on social media, friends and strangers helped him bring dozens of horses to safety.

Forty horses were nervously running back and forth on Friday as flames and smoke surrounded the Saddletree Ranch Equestrian Center in Sylmar.

The flames were spreading rapidly as Alejo Morales, a worker at the ranch, and his colleagues were scrambling to evacuate the horses, so he posted a message on social media asking for help.

"We had a lot of friends that came through and helped us," Morales told CNN affiliate KCAL. "We started getting phone calls and (more) phone calls, and people just started piling up and getting the horses (out)."

Friends and strangers rushed over with trailers and shuttled the horses to safety. The equestrian center lost several thousand dollars' worth of property but the horses and ranch workers made it unscathed.

"We want to thank the whole community for helping us out," another worker, Horacio Diaz told KCAL. "They really came through for us."

Other fires in the region

The Saddleridge and Sandalwood fires are only a few of the many fires burning in Southern California.

Less than 20 miles away in Moreno Valley, the Reche Fire has burned at least 350 acres and was 85% contained. The fire went from 100 to 200 acres in about 90 minutes, before nearly doubling two hours later. Mandatory evacuations have been issued in surrounding areas, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Some residents have been allowed back in or near their homes, but city officials said the danger is not over.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
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Martin74913
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Union6297
Ohio4977
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
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