Blue Cut Fire grows to nearly 60 square miles, now 26 percent contained

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The devastating Blue Cut Fire that has scorched about 57 square miles, or 37,000 acres, in San Bernardino County and caused hundreds of thousands of residents to leave their homes is now 26 percent contained, fire officials said.

According to KTLA, evacuations were lifted for residents in the areas west of the 15 Freeway to Baldy Mesa Road, south of Phelan Road to Whitehaven Street and Praire Trail on Thursday evening as firefighters began to get a handle on the blaze.

An estimated 82,640 people have been forced to leave their homes.

The 15 Freeway, which was completely shut down Wednesday morning, was reopened to traffic in both directions on Thursday morning, Caltrans said.

Read More: 3 suspected of looting in Blue Cut Fire evacuation area arrested

About 34,500 structures remain threatened in the communities of Wrightwood, Oak Hills, Phelan, Lytle Creek, Baldy Mesa, West Cajon Valleya and South Hesperia and Summit Valley, according to the federal incident page for the Blue Cut Fire.

Officials have still not released how many homes have been damaged or destroyed in the blaze, which started on Tuesday and quickly exploded.

“Structures are known to have been damaged or destroyed but cannot currently be assessed due to the extreme fire behavior and growth,” officials said in the InciWeb page. “A Damage Assessment Team (DAT) has been ordered to assist.

Red flag conditions were expected to remain in effect for the area until 9 p.m. Friday.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.