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Like a raging volcano, California wildfire expands to 46 square acres

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 4th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Like a volcano spewing lava over the land, the California wildfire has now expanded to at least 46 square miles along the edges of the Angeles National Forest. While fire crews had doubled containment to 40 percent by Monday, as cooler temperatures moved in to replace the high temperatures. Flames have since moved to the floor of the high desert Antelope Valley, where the fire became easier to fight.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thankfully, with only scattered homes in the area, crews have been able to work more on containing flames than on structure protection. Six houses have been destroyed by the fire, nine more were damaged and 2,800 people fled 700 homes in Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth, which is 45 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Flames were fanned by the unpredictable winds that pushed hotspots in different directions. Nearly 2,100 firefighters took on the flames, aided by water-dropping helicopters and airplanes unleashing loads of retardant across the flames.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Three fire fighters suffered minor injuries, but no one else was hurt. There are no reported fatalities linked to the blaze.

Evacuations remained in effect while firefighters checked communities for hazards such as hotspots, downed power lines, damaged gas lines and propane tanks.

Another factor of the wildfires, smoke, was everywhere apparent in faraway Las Vegas, Nevada. Clark County officials had advised that it could bother sensitive people such as those with respiratory conditions.

Two major wildfires remain active in northern New Mexico. Weather conditions were not expected to be helpful to firefighters.

The Tres Lagunas fire north of Pecos in Santa Fe National Forest had grown to 12 1/2 square miles, causing smoke to spread across much of the region. While an evacuation went into effect, no structures have suffered damages.

Firefighters were working to protect a group of homes in the Holy Ghost Canyon and prevent the fire from spreading east, where it could endanger a river watershed that supplies Las Vegas.

The Thompson Ridge fire, near Jemez Springs remained at nearly 3 square miles. Forty to 50 houses were evacuated late last week.

Finally - in faraway Evergreen, Colorado, a fire forced the evacuation of an undetermined number of homes. Evergreen is about 30 miles west of Denver.

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