Los Angeles, June 21 (IANS) Two fast-moving brush fires tore through vegetation on Monday in the Angeles National Forest and the foothills above Duarte and Azusa in Los Angeles, burning more than 2,000 acres within three hours.
The initial fire broke out shortly after 11 a.m. off Highway 39 near the Morris Reservoir dam north of Azusa, according to Sherry Rollman of the US Forest Service. The blaze fire grew to more than 100 acres within an hour, and then raged across 1,200 acres as it sped through dry woods, Xinhua reported.
Firefighters from the US Forest Service and the Los Angeles County Fire Department were dispatched to the scene.
The fire was believed to have been sparked by a vehicle running off the highway, and crews at the scene reported a possible fatality in that initial crash, but fire officials could not immediately confirm the death.
About 90 minutes after the reservoir fire began, a second blaze was reported about four miles southwest of it.
That blaze, dubbed the “Fire”, quickly roared into the foothills, burning north away from homes but threatening some remote horse stables.
That brush fire consumed at least 100 acres in less than an hour and burned rapidly uphill, according Captain Keith Mora of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. By mid-afternoon, the flames had roared across another 1,000 acres.
Evacuation orders were issued and people were forced to move out of their houses and take shelter in evacuation centres.