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US wildfire surges in size, threatens thousands

Last Updated: Sunday, August 30, 2009 - 15:49

Los Angeles: A wildfire in the mountains above Los Angeles has surged in every direction, going in a single day from a modest threat to a danger to some 10,000 homes.
The blaze nearly tripled in size in the heat yesterday, leaving three people burned, destroying at least three homes and forcing the evacuation of 1,000 homes and an untold number of people.

A slight drop in temperatures and an influx of fire crews from around the state were expected to bring some relief today.

Mandatory evacuations were in effect for neighbourhoods in Altadena, Glendale, Pasadena, La Crescenta and Big Tujunga Canyon.

The flames crept down the slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains despite mild winds blowing predominantly in the other direction.

"Today what happened is what I call the perfect storm of fuels, weather, and topography coming together," said Captain Mike Dietrich, the incident commander for the US Forest Service.

At least three homes deep in the Angeles National Forest were destroyed, and firefighters were searching for others, Dietrich said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, August 30, 2009 - 15:49

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