California crews fight fires amid heat wave, warn of fire tornado

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LOS ANGELES – Firefighters struggled to contain three wildfires near Los Angeles on Saturday as forecasters warned the risk of more fires was high, temperatures are expected to rise and humidity levels drop across California . In northern California, the National Weather Service has warned responders to beware of a rare tornado fire.

A massive wildfire that prompted evacuations north of Los Angeles started around noon, sending a cloud of smoke as it made its way through thick, dry brush in the Angeles National Forest. Although it burns in the forest lands, evacuation orders remained in effect for the western Antelope Valley as irregular winds in the forecast could push the fire towards the houses, the porter said. word of Jake Miller fires.

Fire crews were successful in stopping the movement of the fire toward the desert floor when it broke out on Friday afternoon. In one dramatic moment, several firefighters ran to safety when a longhorn bull apparently escaping from the blaze charged them.

The lake fire was only 12% contained on Saturday morning, and after threatening more than 5,400 homes, it had charred more than 23 square miles (59.5 square kilometers) of brush and trees. Fire officials said 21 buildings were destroyed, including at least five houses.

Firefighters struggled over steep, rugged terrain amid scorching temperatures. The National Weather Service warned temperatures could reach 111 degrees (44 Celsius) in the Antelope Valley on Saturday, and gusty winds of 15 to 20 mph (24 to 32 km / h) were expected later in the afternoon.

“On top of that, we have a very unstable air mass above the lake fire which will allow pyrocumulus (cloud) to develop later in the day which will create extreme fire behavior,” said meteorologist Matt Mehle.

Many areas of the state experienced record heat throughout the weekend, with triple-digit temperatures and unsanitary air forecast for many areas of the state. There was also a chance that isolated thunderstorms would worsen the fire threat by creating dry lightning and strong downdrafts, fire officials said.

North of Lake Tahoe, the Loyalton Fire burned 80 square kilometers east of Reno, Nevada. Weather officials said the blaze exhibited extreme behavior, such as gusting wind and smoke, similar to a deadly northern California blaze that destroyed more than 1,000 homes and killed 8 people. This fire was only 5% contained on Saturday night.

There was also no containment from a blaze that was blackening the foothills above the Los Angeles suburb of Azusa. He walked 5.96 square kilometers of brush Thursday and was moving away from the houses. Evacuation orders issued to residents were lifted early Friday.

Azusa police said they were looking for a homeless man who was suspected of having started the fire. He was identified as 36-year-old Osmin Palencia, and was last living in a riverside encampment near the site where the fire started.

Police said Palencia was considered violent and urged people to be careful if they saw him.

Another fire approached dangerously close to a neighborhood in the city of Corona, east of Los Angeles, before crews controlled it. And a fire in northern California in the community of Sloughhouse, near Sacramento, burned about 500 acres (202 hectares) before firefighters stopped its spread.

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