California fire drives people from 10 000 homes

A helicopter makes a drop on a wildfire near Placenta Caynon Road in Santa Clarita, California.  (AP)
A helicopter makes a drop on a wildfire near Placenta Caynon Road in Santa Clarita, California. (AP)

Los Angeles - The Los Angeles County Fire Department says about 10 000 homes have been evacuated as crews protect mountain and canyon communities from a ferocious wildfire that's destroyed 18 houses.

Officials said late on Sunday that the blaze had burned through at least 82 square kilometres of brush north of Los Angeles - but that number is expected to jump later on Monday when better assessment is done in daylight. The fire is just 10% contained.

Helicopters made water drops through the night.

The Fire Department's incident web page says about 20 000 residents have been ordered from their homes. New evacuations were put in place on Sunday as the blaze roared to the northeast through Angeles National Forest toward the city of Acton.

Metrolink commuter rail service has been cancelled between the Acton, Palmdale and Lancaster stations.

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