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Thousands Forced Out of Homes by 2 California Wildfires

  • VOA News

The remains of a burned home smoulder in Iron Canyon Road area near Santa Clarita, California, on Sunday, July 24, 2016.

The remains of a burned home smoulder in Iron Canyon Road area near Santa Clarita, California, on Sunday, July 24, 2016.

Two large wildfires are raging in Southern California, threatening thousands of homes and forcing evacuations.

Firefighters are battling a blaze near the city of Santa Clarita and the Angeles National Forest that has charred 88 square kilometers, while about 500 kilometers to the north, another fire is burning in the majestic Big Sur region.

Authorities on Saturday found a body outside a home in Santa Clarita, and detectives are trying to determine whether that person was killed by the blaze something else. The area was one of several neighborhoods ordered evacuated as the fire raged through bone dry canyons and ranchlands.

Fire officials say more than 1,600 firefighters were battling the flames threatening about 1,500 homes and 100 commercial buildings.

"It's not a one direction type of fire,'' said Nathan Judy, a spokesman for the Angeles National Forest. "It's going in different directions depending on which way the wind is blowing. It's doing what it wants.''

The fire also forced the evacuation of Bengal tigers, a mountain lion and other animals from a nonprofit sanctuary for rescued exotic creatures within the national forest.

Northward on the Central Coast, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters battled a blaze in rugged mountains north of Big Sur. The fire poses a threat to about 1,000 homes and the community of Palo Colorado was ordered evacuated.

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