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Scenes from the front lines against California's massive Blue Cut wildfire

Marcus Yam | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

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

Need backup

A firefighter radios that the Blue Cut Fire is burning on both sides of Highway 138 on August 16, 2016 in Phelan, California.
Gina Ferazzi | The Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

A firefighter radios that the blaze is burning on both sides of Highway 138 in Phelan, 85 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Air support

An air tanker drops fire retardant on the Blue Cut wildfire in Lytle Creek, California, August 16, 2016. The fire is currently 9,000
Ringo Chiu | AFP | Getty Images

An air tanker drops fire retardant over Lytle Creek, 60 miles east of LA.

Hot spot

A hand crew prepares to clear a hot spot at the Blue Cut Fire near Wrightwood, California.
Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

A hand crew prepares to clear a hot spot near the ski town of Wrightwood, just east of the Angeles National Forest.

Charred wreckage

Burned vehicles are seen on a country road at the Blue Cut Fire on August 17, 2016 near Wrightwood, California.. An unknown number of homes and businesses have burned and more than 80,000 people are under evacuation orders as the out-of-control wildfire spread beyond 30,000 acres and threatens to expand into the ski resort town of Wrightwood.
Getty Images

Burned vehicles near Wrightwood.

Igniting the night

Firefighters battle the Blue Cut wildfire near Cajon Pass, north of San Bernardino, California on August 16, 2016. Despite the efforts of 1,250 firefighters with more on the way, none of the inferno was contained as of late on August 16 , state firefighting agency Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff told AFP.
Ringo Chiu | AFP | Getty Images

Firefighters battle the Blue Cut wildfire near Cajon Pass, north of San Bernardino.

Taking a break

San Bernardino County firefighters watch for returning flames beside land burnt by the Blue Cut Fire, near Hesperia, California, August 17, 2016.
Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Firefighters watch for returning flames near Hesperia, 35 miles north of San Bernardino.

In the fire's path

The Blue Cut Fire roars out of control towards home off Highway 138 on August 16, 2016 in Phelan, California.
Gina Ferazzi | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

The fire roars out of control toward a home off Highway 138 in Phelan.

Singed

Smoke rises from a burned out grove of trees at the Blue Cut wildfire in Wrightwood, California on August 17, 2016. A rapidly spreading fire raging east of Los Angeles forced the evacuation of more than 82,000 people as the governor of California declared a state of emergency.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Smoke rises from a burned out grove of trees in Wrightwood.