Tehachapi (California): Firefighters on Thursday
braced for strong afternoon winds at the sites of two
wildfires north of Los Angeles that have burned about 40
homes, threatened at least 150 more and forced some 2,300
people to evacuate.
The two blazes in mostly rural Kern County remained out
of control after scorching more than 67 square kilometres of
hilly pine forests and chaparral.
A blaze that erupted yesterday 16 kilometres southeast
of Tehachapi destroyed 30 to 40 homes and threatened the
remaining 150 homes in the tiny community of Old West Ranch.
Homes in the eastern foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains
were smoldering early today, with one structure appearing to
have collapsed in on itself. A singed wooden banister was the
only piece of the home left standing. A whitish-yellow haze of
smoke covered the blackened ground.
About 250 firefighters from several different agencies
were battling the 1,230-acre blaze, along with water-dropping
aircraft. Crews worked through the night to bulldoze
firelines and burn firebreaks.