SANTA CLARITA ( — Officials say the huge blaze in northern Los Angeles County is now 65 percent surrounded.

The fire command said Thursday that crews have stopped the spread of the nearly 60-square-mile Sand Fire in forest land east of Santa Clarita. Firefighters are aided by light winds but will contend with another day of triple-digit temperatures.

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The fire has destroyed 18 homes and a western town set on the Sable Ranch, a well-known filming location. One structure was damaged and two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the flames.

One man, later identified as 67-year-old Robert Bresnick, was killed in the blaze after apparently refusing orders to evacuate. His burned body was found in a car in the driveway of a house in the burn area.

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Metrolink commuter rail service is running again after being closed for days in the burn area.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District extended a smoke advisory until midnight Thursday in portions of the Santa Clarita Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains. Air quality could reach unhealthy levels in areas where there’s smoke, the agency said. Residents in those areas are advised to stay indoors and avoid using swamp coolers or wood-burning appliances.

Members of the public can follow the latest announcements about the fire online at

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