Raging wildfire in the US state of California forces thousands to evacuate


A hillside erupts in flame in Placerita Canyon in Santa Clarita, , July 25. (CNN photo)

A raging wildfire in the
state of California has burned tens of thousands of acres and forced the
evacuation of some 10,000 homes.

In Southern California,
the so-called Sand Fire has set more than 37,000 acres of the Santa
Clarita Valley ablaze, according to the Los Angeles County Fire
The wildfire was concentrated near the town of Acton,
about 50 miles (80 km) north of Los Angeles, as it spread a dark
covering of smoke and dust over a wide area.
Fire authorities say
one person has died in the fire, more than 18 homes have burned and
20,000 residents had been evacuated from their homes.
hit 101 degrees (38 C) in the area and dried brush from the parched,
drought conditions have helped spread the fire to about 57 square miles
(148 square km).
Over 3,000 firefighters are battling the flames in extremely dry and smoky conditions, having to navigate steep terrains.
extent of the fire’s damage could be seen from satellite images that
showed the burn scars left on the hills and canyons. Helicopters circled
the blaze, dousing flames with water.
In Central California along
the Pacific coast, the wildfire in Monterey County, called the
Soberanes Fire, has burned more than 19,000 acres. The fire is bigger
than the size of Manhattan in New York City.
The smoke from the
fire, which has destroyed at least 20 homes, could be seen from about a
hundred miles (160 km) north and about 300 miles (482 km) east. Air
quality health alerts have been issued in the areas.

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