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Smoke from the Cranston Fire clouds the skies over Highway 243, south of Idyllwild, Calif., Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (Richard Lui/The Desert Sun via AP )

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A fast-moving wildfire — believed to have been sparked by arson — tore through trees, burned five homes and forced evacuation orders for an entire mountain town as California sweltered under a heat wave and battled ferocious fires at both ends of the state.

By MARCIO SANCHEZ, Associated Press July 26, 2018