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Fire burns 3,500 acres in California national forest

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  • The Grand fire burned into the Los Padres National Forest near Gorman, Calif., where the blaze charred 3,500 acres of wild lands on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Luis Sinco)

  • A firefightier watched a backfire set in Hungry Valley State Park to halt the progress of the Grand fire, which charred 3,500 acres of wildlands near Frazier Park on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Luis Sinco)

FRAZIER PARK, Calif. » Cooler temperatures and lighter winds gave hundreds of firefighters a slight reprieve today with a 3,500-acre wildfire that has blackened rugged terrain in the Los Padres National Forest.

The fire that broke out Wednesday charred 3,500 acres of dry, thick trees, despite a heavy aerial effort to beat back flames in the largely unpopulated area.

The blaze was 15 percent contained.

No structures were threatened although a high school was evacuated as a precaution. No injuries have been reported.

The fire near Interstate 5 through Frazier Park, where Kern and northern Los Angeles counties meet, could be fanned by winds that may reach up to 35 mph today. The blaze started just before 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and initially burned thick brush, seasonal grasses and sage, but then moved into the trees.

The cooler weather helped firefighters overnight clear brush and create breaks in hopes of slowing the blaze. Efforts today will be focused on the southern edge of the fire and an aerial assault of helicopters and tankers will help snuff out flames that can’t be reached by ground crews, authorities said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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