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Although there remain to be a number of dangerous wildfires burning throughout the county, officials this evening sound relatively positive that conditions were improving and began to prepare for the fire’s second stage: recovery.

“We do believe the worst is behind us,” said Ron Lane, director of the Office of Emergency Services. He also mentioned a sixth fatality, but didn’t offer a name.

Winds are now starting to come from the west rather than the east.

However, they were sure to point out that we are still in a dangerous situation.

Officials are concerned that North County’s Rice Fire could combine with a Riverside County fire to make one gigantic blaze. There are also concerns in Julian, where officials are urging residents to prepare to evacuate. However, phone service is down, so the reverse 911 notification system can’t be used.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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