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Lightning sparks a dozen fires in Southern California, but rain helps firefighters

Severe thunderstorms that sparked at least a dozen brush fires in Southern California are helping firefighters gain the upper hand on those blazes.

Fire spokeswoman Cheri Patterson says the 450-acre fire near Temecula is now 10 percent contained. She says rain and humidity assisted firefighters as they built a line around the blaze Thursday evening.

Lightning started at least a dozen fires in Riverside County on Thursday.

Patterson says some residents voluntarily evacuated their homes in the Sage area and couldn't return after fire officials closed some roads.

The Antelope Valley is under a flash flood warning with forecasts of slow-moving thunderstorms over the high desert.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — 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.