Wildfires – California, USA

A wind-swept wildfire in California’s San Fernando Valley threatened several northern Los Angeles communities Friday, prompting authorities to order the evacuation of more than 1,600 homes, according to reports.

The so-called Saddleridge Brush Fire, which started in Sylmar north of downtown LA on Thursday night, spread from 60 acres to 1,600 acres (2.5 square miles) within hours.

Meanwhile, a separate fire sparked by burning trash dumped by a garbage truck destroyed dozens of homes in Riverside County and led to the evacuation of hundreds of people.

The Sandalwood fire erupted when a “trash truck dumped a load of burning trash that spread onto vegetation” about 2 p.m. Thursday in the community of Calimesa, about 70 miles east of LA, fire officials said.

The two conflagrations were among about 275 wildfires that have broken out across the state as hot, gusty winds signaled the start of its peak fire season.

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