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Wildfires are burning across several south-western states prompting evacuations and warnings that more people may have to leave their homes on a moment's notice.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA | Wildfire

Crews gain control of Southern California's Placerita Fire


Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 2:23 - Firefighters in Southern California were battling a fast-moving wildfire on Sunday that closed a highway and forced residents from their homes around the area of Santa Clarita, a city north of Los Angeles, authorities said.

The fire broke out in the early afternoon after a traffic collision caused a tree to catch fire, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.


STUDY: 'The Big One' puts California at risk of significant sinking


The blaze, dubbed the Placerita Fire, swelled to roughly 800 acres but firefighters had managed to contains about half the blaze by 6 p.m.(0100 GMT), the Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted. 

Its size at that point had shrunk by about 50 acres, the department said. 

"#PLACERITAFIRE 760 acres 75% cont," said the Los Angeles County Fire Department in a Tweet Monday. "Roads reopen at 8pm. Drive safe in the burn area firefighters are working throughout the night."

An image posted by fire officials on Twitter showed two massive plumes of smoke swirling toward the sky over a blackened hilly landscape in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. 

The blaze was burning in the southeastern area of Santa Clarita, a city of some 181,500 residents. 

Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders for residents in some areas threatened by the blaze, though it was not clear how many people were affected, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. 

One structure was destroyed by the fire and State Route 14 was closed in both directions earlier on Sunday, but traffic has since resumed, the department said.

SEE ALSO: Evacuations remain in effect following levee breach/flooding near Kingsburg, California

As of Tuesday (June 27) afternoon the fire was 75 percent contained.


STORM TOOL KIT: Be prepared for severe weather with The Weather Network's online essentials: ALERTS | LIVE RADAR | UPLOAD PHOTOS/VIDEOS | LATEST NEWS | FOLLOW ON TWITTER | HIGHWAY FORECAST | AIRPORT FORECAST


CAL FIRE said on June 22 that firefighters have responded to 1,878 wildfires, burning over 19,000 acres, since January 1, representing a threefold increase compared with the same time last year. 

The video below shows the Pacifica Fire in Westlake Village, California, on June 24.

Editor's note: Additional information added by The Weather Network to original Reuters article.

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