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Los Angeles fire causing evacuations, closing freeways

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A home is engulfed in flames during the Camp Fire in Paradise.

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12th-Oct-2019       
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AP, Los Angeles :
A wildfire fueled by Santa Ana winds has closed two freeways, is threatening homes and has forced evacuations around Los Angeles.
Fire officials say the Saddleridge fire had consumed more than 4,600 acres by 3 a.m. Friday.
It broke out after 9 p.m. Thursday along the 210 Freeway and jumped the highway. Flames also crossed the 5 Freeway. The highways were closed because of heavy smoke.
Authorities have ordered mandatory evacuations in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Oakridge Estates neighborhoods.
Several homes were seen burning in Granada Hills, and the LA fire department said an "unknown number" of homes were potentially threatened.
There were no reports of injuries.
The blaze comes as hot, dry winds are raising concerns that the region's largest utility could widen power shutoffs to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires.
Hot, dry winds sweeping into Southern California raised concerns that the region's largest utility could widen power shutoffs Friday to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires.
Southern California Edison turned off electricity to about 20,000 people but warned that thousands more could lose service as Santa Ana winds gained strength.
Meanwhile Winds gusted dangerously as forecast in Northern California before weather conditions eased and the lights started to come back on. Planned blackouts affected millions and Pacific Gas & Electric faced hostility and second-guessing for its widespread shutoffs. "A number of fires… are burning and there have been structures that have been lost," said Mark Ghilarducci, emergency services director at the governor's office.
Fire-fighting planes and helicopters were called in to tackle two fires east of Los Angeles which spread to a combined 900 acres (360 hectares), and were described by officials as "zero percent contained." The local fire department said multiple structures were destroyed and "numerous medical emergencies" occurred at one of the fires. ·In the far south of the state, San Diego Gas & Electric warned 30,000 customers living in high-risk areas they could potentially lose their power if conditions worsen.
Urban Los Angeles itself was not expected to be at-risk, although police Wednesday night said they would clear some vulnerable homeless camps. Several other small fires were reported further north but quickly tackled by firefighters.
PG&E on Thursday had completed inspections on some power lines in its blackout regions, and had restored electricity to more than 228,000 customers by late afternoon. But others may have to wait several days for inspections before normal service can be restored. Last November, PG&E's faulty power lines were determined to have sparked the deadliest wildfire in the state's modern history, which killed 86 and destroyed the town of Paradise.

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