Authorities ordered mandatory evacuations for hundreds of people as crews worked through the night to contain the so-called Sandalwood Fire, which had scorched about 500 acres near Calimesa, about 70 miles east of downtown Los Angeles
A pair of wildfires have destroyed dozens of homes near Los Angeles and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents, fire officials said on Friday, days after authorities ordered power cuts across the state to prevent more blazes.
Authorities ordered mandatory evacuations for hundreds of people as crews worked through the night to contain the so-called Sandalwood Fire, which had scorched about 500 acres near Calimesa, about 70 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
It was only 10% contained as of early Friday, Riverside County Fire Department (RCFD) officials said.
The blaze, named after a local landmark, erupted on Thursday afternoon when a garbage truck dumped burning trash that spread onto vegetation, the RCFD and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said in a statement.
By early Friday, a second Southern California wildfire, dubbed the Saddleridge fire, spread to more than 4,000 acres in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, prompting an evacuation order for more than 1,900 homes.
"Once daylight comes, a more accurate assessment can be performed," the LA Fire Department said in a pre-dawn Twitter message. "A number of homes have been destroyed by fire but the estimated number is not available at this time."
The 2018 wildfire season was the deadliest and most destructive ever recorded in California, with about 100 residents and firefighters killed. More than 8,500 fires erupted, scorching more than 1.8 million acres and causing billions of dollars of damage.
There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries from the latest blazes, among about 275 wildfires that have broken out across California as hot, gusty winds signaled the start of its peak fire season, state officials said.