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A ferocious wildfire in Southern California's rugged San Gabriel Mountains has exploded to cover 49 square miles — an area larger than the entire city of San Francisco.
With 1,300 firefighters battling the 3-day-old blaze, authorities reported devastating damage and warned more than 80,000 people to evacuate from 34,000 residences, according to The Associated Press.
The fire erupted Tuesday morning in Cajon Pass, and by Wednesday it had scorched more than 40 square miles, about twice the size of Manhattan. By Thursday morning, the monstrous blaze had spread another 9 square miles of land that's been parched by years of drought.
In the photo above, firefighters monitored the blaze Wednesday. Click ahead to see more scenes of the massive battle against what's dubbed the Blue Cut Fire east of Los Angeles.
— By CNBC's Adam Jeffrey and Marty Steinberg
Posted 18 Aug. 2016
A firefighter radios that the blaze is burning on both sides of Highway 138 in Phelan, 85 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
An air tanker drops fire retardant over Lytle Creek, 60 miles east of LA.
A hand crew prepares to clear a hot spot near the ski town of Wrightwood, just east of the Angeles National Forest.
Burned vehicles near Wrightwood.
Firefighters battle the Blue Cut wildfire near Cajon Pass, north of San Bernardino.
Firefighters watch for returning flames near Hesperia, 35 miles north of San Bernardino.
The fire roars out of control toward a home off Highway 138 in Phelan.
Smoke rises from a burned out grove of trees in Wrightwood.