Calmer weather helps crews battling California wildfires

Garden Valley firefighter Chris Schwegler walks by flames along Morgan Valley Road near Lower Lake, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Crews battling the wind-stoked blaze took advantage of cooler temperatures Thursday to clear brush and expand containment lines with bulldozers and hand tools. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

LAKE COUNTY (KRON/AP) — A fire that has been burning for more than a week about 100 miles north of San Francisco has now destroyed nine homes and charred more than 39 square miles, fire officials said Monday.

But firefighters are gaining ground against the wildfire, which is now 85 percent contained.

Fire officials say that over the weekend smoke from the fire drifted into the Bay Area and especially east of the region, where it was trapped in valleys for several days, causing hazy skies and breathing difficulties for some.

The fire is the second of two blazes that have charred land near dry Lower Lake. An earlier, larger fire in the same area was fully contained Friday more than two weeks after it broke out. That fire destroyed 43 homes.

19 major fires burning in dry, drought-stricken California.

In Southern California, crews working through the night stopped the spread of two Los Angeles County fires that burned several structures, charred hundreds of acres of dry brush and led to the arson arrest of one person.

A brush fire sparked near a riverbed in Montebello, a suburb east of downtown Los Angeles, halted operations at an oil field and prompted the evacuation of a park. The fire, which grew to about 200 acres, is 20 percent contained Monday.

Montebello authorities say a 45-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

To the north a wildfire that burned buildings at an abandoned rehabilitation center in rural Castaic has charred about 300 acres in Angeles National Forest. It is 10 percent contained.

Meanwhile, a 2-and-a-half-square-mile fire in the forest above the suburbs of Glendora and Azusa is 60 percent contained.

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