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Williams Fire explodes in San Gabriel Valley foothills

A fast growing fire in the San Gabriel Valley foothills on Saturday afternoon has exploded and more than 3,000 residents and tourists have been evacuated.

Known as the Williams Fire, a shift in the fire’s direction in the early evening apparently has lessened the danger to homes and residents in the immediate area, but it appears that firefighters have a long battle ahead of them.

A massive plume of smoke could be seen throughout Southern California on Sunday afternoon.

The blaze was moving north toward the Sheep Mountain Wilderness Area, forest officials said.

–Randy Economy