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Wildfire near Los Angeles forces hundreds to evacuate homes

LOS ANGELES — An erratic brush fire threatened hundreds of homes Friday in the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles, as firefighters battled through gusting winds and triple-digit heat.

As of early Saturday, the fire burned through about 1,500 acres and is now 10 percent contained, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement. Evacuation orders were issued for about 200 homes, ABC7 reported.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said over 250 firefighters would continue to battle the fire and that LAFD helicopters would perform additional water drops through the night.

“Firefighters are battling not only 106-degree temperatures today with low relative humidity, but it’s also very steep and rugged terrain,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott, according to ABC7. “Fortunately we have no injuries to firefighters.”

The wildfire also led to the closure of Interstate 210, an essential link to routes in and out of town just as Labor Day weekend travel was starting, The Associated Press reported.

Officials said Friday that one of the worst U.S. wildfire seasons in terms of land burned is likely to keep scorching Western states and blanketing them with smoke until later this fall.

The National Interagency Fire Center said more than 25,000 firefighters and personnel are spread out across the Western U.S. fighting 56 large uncontained wildfires, 21 of them in Montana and 17 in Oregon.

In Northern California, a wildfire burning near the town of Oroville has destroyed 20 homes. The blaze about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Sacramento had consumed nearly 6 square miles (15 square kilometers) and was threatening 500 homes, officials said.

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