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Hot, Dry Weather Hampers Firefighters Battling California Wildfires

  • VOA News

Firefighters battle the so-called Sand Fire in the Angeles National Forest near Los Angeles, California, July 25, 2016.

Firefighters battle the so-called Sand Fire in the Angeles National Forest near Los Angeles, California, July 25, 2016.

Extremely hot temperatures and low humidity are making it difficult for firefighters battling two major wildfires burning in drought-stricken California.

About 3,000 firefighters are having a hard time bringing a blaze just outside the Angeles National Forest, northeast of Los Angeles, under control.

Thermometers hit a steamy 39 degrees Celsius Tuesday in and around Los Angeles, with generally dry conditions.

Authorities say the fire was just 25 percent contained Tuesday, but under control enough to let many of the 30,000 residents forced to evacuate return home. One fire-related death has been reported.

Another fire has destroyed homes near the scenic Pacific coastal town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, south of San Francisco. As of Tuesday, that blaze was just 10 percent contained.

A California state fire captain said Tuesday that a wildfire can change direction with little warning, and that flying embers can set off flames more than a kilometer away from the large blaze.

Farther east in Wyoming, Governor Matt Mead ordered the National Guard to help fight a wildfire burning on a mountain in the Shoshone National Forest. The governor said the state needs to do all it can to make sure people are safe and property damage is limited.

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