Californians Flee Homes as Flames Rage Across Los Angeles

Dozens of homes have been destroyed.

Thousands have fled their homes in Los Angeles County as wind-whipped flames tore across the San Fernando Valley.

Nearly 13,000 homes were under mandatory evacuation orders after the Saddleridge brush fire raged from 60 acres to nearly 5,000 acres in less than half a day. The flames are out of control, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Brutal winds and dry conditions fed the flames, which were consuming some 800 acres an hour, chief Ralph Terrazas said at a Friday news conference. "Do not wait to leave," he warned. "If we ask you to evacuate, please evacuate."

In neighboring Riverside County, another fire swept through a mobile home park in Calimesa, destroying 74 homes and killing one person, authorities said. That blaze was started by a trash truck that dumped smoldering garbage, which spread to surrounding vegetation, officials said.

As brittle Santa Ana winds buffeted the state, power companies began shutting service to affected areas to discourage sparks from power lines igniting other blazes.