California wildfires burn about 40 homes



California wildfires burn about 40 homes 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.

PTI