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As firefighters hope to gain ground on some West Coast fires, others prompt more evacuations

September 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A firefighter watches the Bobcat Fire burning on hillsides near Monrovia Canyon Park in Monrovia, California on September 15, 2020. - A major fire that has been raging outside Los Angeles for more than a week threatened to engulf a historic observatory and billion-dollar broadcast towers on September 15 as firefighters struggled to contain the flames. The so-called Bobcat Fire was within 500 feet (150 meters) from the 116-year-old Mt. Wilson Observatory, the US Forest Service said in a tweet, while fire officials said crews were in place "ready to receive the fire." (Photo by RINGO CHIU / AFP) (Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images)

With rain finally arriving in parts of the West Coast, fire officials hope the forecast will help them gain ground on the deadly wildfires that forced thousands to evacuate this week.

(CNN)With rain finally arriving in parts of the West Coast, fire officials hope the forecast will help them gain ground on the deadly wildfires that forced thousands to evacuate this week.

Rain is forecast for parts of Oregon and Washington but there's little rainfall in sight for California, where officials warned warm and dry conditions will elevate the danger of fire over the weekend.

The state has seen more than 3. 4 million acres scorched so far this year, killing 25 people and reducing hundreds of homes to embers.

Fresh evacuations were ordered Thursday in parts of southern California threatened by the Bobcat Fire which has torched more than 55,000 acres and is 9% contained, according to the US Forest Service.

Together, blazes in the three states have burned more than 5. 8 million acres, a spokesperson and a report from the NIFC say.

California authorities ordered residents to leave communities around Juniper Hills Thursday, following "rapid" growth of the Bobcat Fire.

Similar scenes have played out across the state in past weeks, as violent flames forced residents out of their homes.

A community near the Snow Creek Fire was ordered to evacuate Thursday afternoon, CNN affiliate KTLA reported.

In Oregon, Sen. Jeff Merkley says surveying the damage looked like a "World War II ground hit by fire bombing and thousands of homes destroyed, residences destroyed. "

The ground that's been destroyed can give way to another danger now looming: mudslides.

"Recently burnt ground has a better chance of erosion/mudslides," the National Weather Service in Pendleton, Oregon said.

"They can flow rapidly, striking with little or no warning at avalanche speeds -- faster than you can run," Clackamas County emergency officials said, according to CNN affiliate KATU.

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