Wildfire in southern Sierra 85 percent contained

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Updated: 6/17 11:07 pm

LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. (AP) — Two days of diminished winds have helped firefighters surround 85 percent of a blaze burning near Lake Isabella in the southern Sierra Nevada.

The U.S. Forest Service said in a statement that the blaze burned brightly and sent smoke skyward within the fire lines on Tuesday, but did not jump outside of them.

Officials say a high-pressure system headed into the area could bring a drop in humidity and a bump in fire activity.

The blaze destroyed three houses, damaged another and forced hundreds to flee their homes. At least two of the burned houses appeared to be abandoned.

One other home was damaged by the fire, which charred more than 4 square miles of trees and brush in and around Sequoia National Forest.

Residents were told late Monday they could return to about 1,000 mountain homes that had been evacuated.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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