Smoke and a layer of ash cover Los Angeles as 20,000 acre fire burns across California
- Fast moving Sand Fire stoked by heat and wind started Friday afternoon in Santa Clarita and continued to burn
- Blaze had destroyed 22,000 acres of land by Sunday morning having swelled from 11,000 acres at noon Saturday
- So far 18 homes have been confirmed as destroyed by the blaze and flames threaten a further 1,500 properties
- Nearly 1,700 firefighters are battling the blaze by air and ground which is at 20 percent containment
- Authorities say the body of a man was found at the scene of the fire outside a home in Santa Clarita
- Detectives are working to determine whether the man was killed by the fire or died of another cause
- The Soberanes Fire is also burning out of control near Big Sur on the scenic Central Coast of the state
- More than 10,000 acres of land has been destroyed and it continues to theatern 1,000 homes
A raging wildfire which turned the Los Angeles sky into a sea of smoke has doubled in size in a day, destroying 22,000 acres of land.
The latest figures released by the authorities say the blaze is at 20 percent containment and a total of 18 family homes have been gutted in the areas of Sand Canyon, Bear Divide and Little Tujunga.
Planes and helicopters dropped water and retardant on the blaze that has blackened more than 34 square miles of brush on ridgelines near the city of Santa Clarita and the Angeles National Forest.
About 300 miles up the coast, crews were battling another blaze spanning 10,000 acres (16 square miles) north of the majestic Big Sur region.
Authorities say almost 1,700 firefighters who are being hindered by scorching temperatures of up to 112 degrees are battling the blaze in the mountains north of Los Angeles known as the Sand Fire.
On Sunday crews faced another day of hot weather, low humidity and high winds that could once again fan the fires’ explosive growth. Shifting winds sent smoke away from greater Los Angeles and into desert communities, where residents were warned about poor air quality.
Late Saturday evening, a man’s body was found outside a home on Iron Canyon Road in Santa Clarita. Detectives are working to determine whether he was killed by the blaze or another cause, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Rob Hahnlein said.
‘It started consuming houses that were non-defendable,’ Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief John Tripp said, describing the flames as charging through terrain ‘like a freight train’.
Juliet Kinikin said Sunday that ‘there was panic’ as the sky became dark with smoke and flames moved closer to her home a day earlier in the Sand Canyon area of Los Angeles County.
‘And then we just focused on what really mattered in the house,’ she said.
Kinikin grabbed important documents
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