Crews try to tame massive forest fire north of Los Angeles

US & World

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Light winds and scattered thundershowers early Thursday were helping to calm the flames of a huge wildfire that prompted evacuations north of Los Angeles, and firefighters hoped to reign in the blaze before temperatures spike later in the day.

An enormous plume of smoke was visible across much of Southern California after the fire broke out Wednesday afternoon in dense forest land.

The blaze exploded in size within hours on brushy ridges, including some areas that had not burned since 1968, fire officials said. By nightfall, the flames had consumed more than 15.5 square miles (40 square kilometers) of timber and chaparral. There was no containment.

About 100 rural homes were evacuated in the Lake Hughes area of the Angeles National Forest, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of downtown Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief David Richardson said late Wednesday that some outbuildings may have been destroyed. Early morning TV news footage showed several structures reduced to ash. It wasn’t immediately clear if they were houses.

The area was expected to have temperatures Thursday in the mid-90s (about 35 Celsius) or higher through the weekend, with low humidity.

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