The Latest: Fire surges to new life north of Los Angeles


LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

A wildfire in northern Los Angeles County is gaining ferocious new power two days after it broke out, sending so much smoke in the air that planes making drops on it had to be grounded.

County fire chief Daryl Osby says Sunday afternoon it’s the most extreme fire behavior he’s seen so early in the fire season in his three-decade career.

The blaze has forced the closure of a 40-mile stretch of State Route 14, known as the Antelope Valley Freeway.

Planes have been unable to make drops over the fire, but helicopters are releasing retardant around the perimeter of the blaze.

The fire has destroyed 18 homes and burned 34 square miles, but Osby says the size might have doubled in the past few hours.

It is 10 percent contained, and thousands of homes are under threat.

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2:30 p.m.

Los Angeles County authorities have ordered new evacuations as unpredictable winds push a destructive wildfire out of forest land toward homes near the Antelope Valley.

Residents of some areas of Acton south of State Route 14 were told to leave Sunday as the massive blaze moves to the northeast after destroying 18 homes near Santa Clarita. Officials didn’t say how many people would be affected.

Officials warn winds could strengthen as the day goes on, creating more challenges for crews working in steep, inaccessible terrain at the edge of Angeles National Forest.

At least 1,500 homes remain evacuated in the Santa Clarita area, where 18 houses were gutted by fast-moving flames Saturday.

Smoke from the 34-square-mile fire is visible across the region. It’s just 10 percent contained.

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1:40 p.m.

Authorities say all evacuation orders will remain in place as winds fan a massive wildfire that has destroyed 18 homes north of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County fire officials said earlier that residents of some areas of Sand Canyon near Santa Clarita would be allowed to return Sunday afternoon. But unpredictable winds led officials to rescind that decision.

The blaze sparked Friday has charred more than 34 square miles of dry brush and is just partially contained. Officials say it is moving northeast through the Angeles National Forest toward the city of Acton, where residents are warned to get ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

Sheriff’s officials are investigating the death of a man found Saturday in a burned car outside a home in the fire zone.

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12 p.m.

A forest fire burning near Big Sur on California’s scenic Central Coast has destroyed a small structure and charred 16 square miles.

California’s forestry department says the blaze is threatening 1,650 homes and other buildings and that the community of Palo Colorado is still under an evacuation order Sunday. One outbuilding has burned.

Officials say the fire could spread north and have warned the community of Carmel Highlands to be prepared to leave.

The blaze erupted Friday in almost inaccessible terrain 5 miles south of Garrapata State Park.

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11:55 a.m.

Authorities are preparing to lift some evacuation orders after a massive wildfire north of Los Angeles destroyed 18 homes but are warning residents of other communities to get ready to leave.

Officials said Sunday that shifting winds are pushing the flames to the northeast through Angeles National Forest and toward the city of Acton.

They say some residents who fled canyons near Santa Clarita where the homes burned will be allowed to return Sunday afternoon.

The blaze sparked Friday has charred more than 34 square miles of dry brush and is just partially contained. Its cause is under investigation.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials are investigating the death of a man found Saturday in a burned car outside a home in the fire zone.

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10:45 a.m.

Authorities say 18 homes have been destroyed and an additional 1,500 are threatened as crews battle a massive wildfire in wooded canyons north of Los Angeles.

The blaze has blackened more than 34 square miles of dry brush withered by days of triple-digit heat on the edge of the Angeles National Forest. It was just 10 percent contained Sunday.

Fire spokeswoman Lisa Lugo says 18 homes were gutted and one was damaged Saturday after evacuations were ordered.

Authorities say the body of a man was discovered in a burned car outside a home in Santa Clarita. The death is under investigation, but sheriff’s officials say there’s no evidence it was a crime.

Shifting winds are sending smoke from the fire away from greater Los Angeles and into desert communities, where residents are being warned about poor air quality.

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10:15 a.m.

Authorities say 18 structures have burned in a massive wildfire that is threatening more than 1,500 homes in canyons north of Los Angeles.

Water-dropping aircraft resumed runs Sunday over the blaze that has blackened more than 34 square miles of dry brush on the edge of the Angeles National Forest. It’s just 10 percent contained.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department didn’t say whether the buildings that burned were homes.

Authorities said Saturday that the body of a man was discovered in a burned car outside a home in Santa Clarita. The death is under investigation, but sheriff’s officials say there’s no evidence it was a crime.

Shifting winds are sending smoke from the fire away from greater Los Angeles and into desert communities, where residents are being warned about poor air quality.

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