Crews try to tame California wildfire as heat wave arrives
Crews scrambled to protect homes from a huge wildfire that prompted evacuations north of Los Angeles, and officials warned the blaze could flare up again Thursday as a blistering heat wave descended on California.
The fire exploded in size within hours after it broke out in dense forest on Wednesday afternoon, sending up a towering plume visible for hundreds of miles around.
Flames raced across ridges and steep slopes, including in some areas that had not burned since 1968, fire officials said. By Thursday morning, the blaze had consumed nearly 16.5 square miles (42 square kilometers) of timber and brush. There was no containment.
"This will be a major fire for several days," said Chief Robert Garcia with the U.S. Forest Service.
About 100 rural homes were evacuated in the Lake Hughes area of the Angeles National Forest, some 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of downtown Los Angeles.