A forest fire in the Lake Elizabeth and Green Valley regions some 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of Los Angeles has destroyed at least five homes and, fanned by erratic winds, on Sunday has spread across more than 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres), authorities said.
During the night, emergency teams evacuated residents from hundreds of homes in those two areas and also in the Lake Hughes sector, and so far firefighters have only managed to contain 20 percent of the fire, U.S. Forest Service official John Wagner said.
Within the affected area, the fire continues to burn out of control.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Keith Mora told reporters that the fire destroyed at least five homes in Lake Hughes.
The unprecedentedly high temperatures, the low humidity and drought conditions in the area have made the task of the roughly 1,000 firefighters and volunteers who are battling the flames all the more difficult.
Firefighters worked throughout the night in the region, supported by helicopters that dumped water in and around residential areas to protect the homes.
The blaze began on Thursday near the Powerhouse No. 1 hydroelectric plant in San Francisquito Canyon, north of Santa Clarita. EFE