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California Fires: Extreme Heat, Lightning Spark 15 Fires

07/15/10 09:40 PM ET   AP

Los Angeles Fires

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Southern California was sweltering in triple-digit heat as monsoonal thunderstorms helped spark several brush fires.

Fire officials blamed eight fires in Riverside County on lightning strikes Thursday. They say strong winds from a storm system are fanning the flames.

Fire spokeswoman Cheri Patterson says residents were told to be ready to evacuate as a fire in the Sage area grew to 50 acres.

She also says two sheriff's deputies were injured while rescuing a woman from a burning trailer in Lake Elsinore. One was treated for a burn, and the other for smoke inhalation.

The unstable weather system is baking Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley in 100-degree heat while pummeling Antelope Valley with heavy rain and hail. Thunderstorms were reported in nearby areas.

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Filed by Billy Silverman  |