Southern California's wildfire explodes

2013-06-02 20:40
Smoke rises from the remains of a destroyed structure in Lake Hughes, California. (Reed Saxon, AP)

Smoke rises from the remains of a destroyed structure in Lake Hughes, California. (Reed Saxon, AP)

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Los Angeles - A fire that destroyed at least five structures and threatened hundreds of others exploded in size overnight, burning dangerously close to two communities north of Los Angeles.

Erratic wind spread the blaze in the Angeles National Forest to nearly 106km² on Sunday, triggering the evacuation of nearly 1 000 homes.

Matt Corelli of the Forest Service said that five structures had been razed by the fire and at least 10 other structures were damaged.

Crews working in steep terrain expected cooler weather after temperatures above 38ºC on Saturday.

The wind pushed the fire up and down steep slopes, creating embers that sparked spot fires in different directions.

The fire was about 20% contained.

A huge plume of smoke could be seen from various parts of northern Los Angeles county and air-quality officials warned against strenuous outdoor activity.

The blaze broke out near a hydro-electric plant near the Los Angeles aqueduct on Thursday, forcing about 200 evacuations in the mountain community of Green Valley.

Evacuations remained in effect for the Cottonwood campground and two youth probation camps along Lake Hughes Canyon Road.

The flames were chewing thick, dry brush that hasn't been burned in about a dozen years.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.






Read more on:    us  |  wildfires

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