Brush Fire North of LA Reaches Pacific
A wind-driven brush fire raging north-west of Los Angeles prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes and a university campus on Thursday as flames engulfed several farm buildings and recreational vehicles at the fringe of threatened neighbourhoods.
A smaller blaze in Riverside County some 80 miles to the east destroyed two houses and damaged two others before firefighters halted its spread, and at least five additional wildfires were burning in northern California.
The flurry of blazes marked a fierce start to a fire season in California that weather forecasters predict will be worsened by a summer of high temperatures and drought throughout much of the US West.
The largest of the fires erupted at about 6.30 am beside the US 101 freeway, less than 10 miles north of the Pacific coast, and quickly consumed 6,500 acres of dry, dense chaparral and brush near the communities of Camarillo and Newbury Park, Ventura County fire department officials said.