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24

The Latest: Wildfire north of Los Angeles growing

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© The Associated Press Smoke from a nearby wildfire looms over Los Angeles on Friday, July 22, 2016. Smoke drifted over the city’s downtown, about 30 miles from the fire’s location in Santa Clarita. It’s one of…

The latest:

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

A wildfire burning in the mountainous Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles has grown to more than 17 square miles.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy says the fire is only 10 percent contained Saturday.

Judy says the Wildlife Waystation, a private sanctuary for rescued exotic animals, is being evacuated.

The Wildlife Waystation has about 400 animals on 160 acres within the national forest.

Its Facebook page is appealing for flatbed and enclosed trucks as well as an air-conditioned warehouse to keep the animals cool.

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10 a.m.

A forest fire burning near Big Sur on California’s scenic Central Coast has nearly doubled in size to almost 3 square miles.

The state forestry department says the blaze is a threat to 1,000 homes and the Monterey County community of Palo Colorado has been ordered evacuated.

The fire erupted Friday in almost inaccessible terrain 5 miles south of Garrapata State Park.

Another wildfire burning north of Los Angeles has grown to more than 8½ square miles and there’s zero containment.

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8:50 a.m.

A wildfire burning in wilderness north of Los Angeles expanded significantly overnight to more than 8½ square miles.

Much of the sky over greater Los Angeles is filled with heavy smoke Saturday morning and ash has fallen in some areas.

Authorities have issued an advisory warning that air quality may reach unhealthy levels in central Los Angeles and adjacent valleys.

The fire erupted Friday afternoon in the Sand Canyon area near State Route 14 as the region was gripped by triple-digit heat and very low humidity levels. Some 300 homes have been ordered evacuated.

The blaze is being battled by 300 firefighters from Los Angeles County and the Angeles National Forest as well as a fleet of helicopters and airplanes.

Earlier story:

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — California bore down Saturday against the continuing heat and wildfires that have forced the evacuations of hundreds of homes as red-flag warnings of extreme fire danger predicted gusty winds and scorching, dry air.

For a second day, triple-digit highs were forecast for many regions of Southern California.

On Friday, the Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles topped out at 111 degrees while Palm Springs recorded 115, and even San Diego and beaches hit the 80s.

It reached 106 in Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles, where a brushfire raged up tinder-dry ridges near State Route 14. As many as 400 homes and a recreational vehicle park were ordered evacuated.

“It just continues to move. It’s not slowing down,” Los Angeles County fire Inspector Joey Marron said late Friday night.

No homes had burned and the fire was heading southward into Angeles National Forest and away from densely populated areas north of it in Santa Clarita, which has about 180,000 residents.

“I got all my tenants out of the RV park and for the people that weren’t there and still have dogs, I broke into their trailers and got their dogs out,” Kurtis Bell, manager of River’s End RV Park, told KCAL-TV.

Driven by 20 mph winds, the afternoon fire quickly enveloped more than 5 square miles of brush near a freeway, State Route 14. Some lanes were shut and Metrolink train service in the area was halted.

Huge flames leapt on ridgetops and smoke could be seen miles away in downtown Los Angeles.

“You could see the fire (on) the top of that mountain, the tops of all these mountains, 20 feet up in the air,” Bell said. “It absolutely looked like the apocalypse.”

About 300 firefighters and a dozen aircraft fought the fire. As night fell, the flames were heading away from the more heavily populated areas of Santa Clarita, which has around 180,000 residents, toward the Angeles National Forest.

Nighttime images showed long glowing lines on the ridges, topped by soaring swaths of flames and walls of smoke.

In the steep, rugged canyons near the Central California coast, a fire near Big Sur in Monterey County burned nearly 1 ½ square miles of brush, grass and redwoods. Garrapata State Park south of Carmel was closed for the weekend.

It was heading toward the famously beautiful Big Sur forest and was expected to burn more fiercely at night as moist ocean air retreated and warm, dry air from inland began blowing toward the sea, state fire spokesman Jonathan Pangburn said.

No homes were immediately threatened in the sparsely populated area.

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