USA CALIFORNIA FIRE.jpg
An undated handout picture made available by the Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Operations Section (LACoFireAirOps) on 23 July 2016 shows a view from a LACoFireAirOps Firehawk helicopter flying over the Sand Fire near Santa Clarita, California, USA. Evacuations were prompted as a wildfire in the Santa Clarita Valley area affected more than 11,000 acres threatening some 1,500 homes, authorities said on 23 July 2016.
Photograph: EPA/LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT AIR OPERATIONS SECTION

Wildfires burning north of Los Angeles have destroyed more than a dozen homes and threaten up to 1,500 more, leaving hundreds of residents scrambling for safety, according to reports Sunday.

The fire encompassed nearly 9,000 hectares near Santa Clarita, and was only 10 per cent contained as of Sunday morning, fire authorities reported. More than 1,600 firefighters are combating the blaze.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, but its spread has been spurred on by extreme summer heat and strong winds. A smoke cloud hung over much of Los Angeles.

The body of one man was found in a burned-out vehicle, KABC reported, and his cause of death remained under investigation.

At the end of June a severe brush fire about 175 kilometres north of Los Angeles destroyed more than 100 buildings.

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