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California wildfire destroys dozens of homes in desert town, leaves 1 dead

By Fabrice Pierre-Toussaint

Staff Writer for Telegraph Local | See my LinkedIn

Dozens of homes were destroyed and one person killed after a damaging wildfire tore through a Southern California town near the Salton Sea, sources from Fox News.

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The fire began Sunday night in Niland, a small, poor agricultural community about 100 miles from San Diego. 

The Imperial County Public Health Department said on Twitter that about 40 homes were estimated to have been lost, but the fire has since been contained.

The Calipatria Fire Department told KESQ-TV that one body was found among fire damage in the town and authorities are investigating.

The fire, spread by strong winds, forced the evacuation of the entire township.

Niland, with a population of about 1,000, is at the north end of an agricultural region that stretches south to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Imperial County spokeswoman Linsey Dale told the Associated Press that about 130 people were dispatched to the blaze.

“It’s very devastating in that area right now,” Dale said.

The American Red Cross Southern California Region said it was working to provide shelter.

A temporary shelter was set up at Calipatria High School where assistance to displaced residents was being offered.

The fire was a damaging hit to California’s Imperial County, which has been hit hard by Covid-19.

More than 500 patients were moved to hospitals in other counties over the past five weeks to relieve strain on the county’s health care system.

Fire weather danger continues across the West through Thursday.

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Hot temperatures, low humidity, dry lightning and gusty winds will bring an elevated risk of critical fire weather across the Southern Rockies, High Plains and Southwest.

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