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Fire Burns Large Amounts of Brushland Northeast of Los Angeles - 2002-09-25


A fast-moving fire has burned 9,000 hectares of brushland northeast of Los Angeles and is threatening hundreds of houses. It is one of two major wildfires burning in the state.

The fire near Los Angeles has destroyed dozens of cabins and forced the closure of more than 26,000 hectares of the Angeles National Forest.

More than 2,000 firefighters are working to stop the blaze, which is burning in three directions. Firefighter Clayton Roadhouse says hot weather and dry underbrush are making their job harder. "Very heavy fuel load, very dry. Normally a fire would lay down at night. That hasn't been happening because the humidity's been so low and the fuel moisture's so dry right now," he said.

Tuesday night, police urged residents of Mount Baldy Village to evacuate. "At 8 o'clock, we're going to call for an evacuation. It's your decisions to stay or leave," the police said.

Some 900 residents remained out of their homes on Wednesday.

At nearby Palmer Canyon, 40 residents were ordered evacuated, as bulldozers cleared the brush to stop the fire from reaching their houses.

One thousand firefighters are on the scene of a second major wildfire, south of San Jose in northern California. That blaze has destroyed at least 15 cabins and is threatening 50 houses.

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