Wildfires consume 37,472 acres near LA

Washington, July 27 (IANS) Wildfires fuelled by high heat have charred 37,472 acres (around 152 square km), up 13 per cent compared with July 25, near Los Angeles, a media report said.

Over a dozen houses were also destroyed in the fires that broke out on Friday in the Santa Clarita Valley area, Xinhua news agency reported.

At least 20 per cent of the fires had been contained, aided slightly by improving weather conditions and lighter vegetation in some areas, which offered hope of increased containment of the blaze.

Over 3,000 firefighters were working to contain the fires.

The Los Angeles Fire Department sent a water-dropping helicopter to join four others from the county Fire Department.

At least 20,000 persons were evacuated as the fires raged, most orders were lifted at 7 p.m. on Monday, but the orders still remain in effect at some places.

Officials identified a man whose burnt body was found in a car in the driveway of a house. He was confirmed to be the one refusing orders to evacuate the area.

The body of Robert Bresnick, 67, was discovered on Saturday evening in a burning area, an official said.

“An autopsy was pending to determine the cause of the man’s death, which was being classified as an accident.”

The fires also destroyed a western town set on the Sable Ranch, a well-known filming location, according to authorities. Dry vegetation caused by a five-year drought was believed to have exacerbated the blaze.

Residents have reported smoke-filled air and falling ash in many parts of the greater Los Angeles area as a result of the fires.



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