Wildfires break out overnight in Los Angeles area

Firefighters battle a wildfire near homes in Sylmar on Oct. 10 2019

The department said the fire destroyed at least one commercial building and an unspecified number of homes.

A fast-moving fire spurred on by high winds broke out in Los Angeles on Thursday night, burning down more than 4,000 acres and multiple homes, and forcing the evacuation of almost 13,000 people in the San Fernando Valley.

Firefighters are facing strong Santa Ana winds which fueled several fires up and down California on Thursday.

Shaun Butch said he saw flames on both sides of the freeway while driving on Interstate 5.

In Sylmar, Mojdan Darabi's husband was spraying their house and yard with a garden hose early Friday, CNN affiliate KABC reported.

"Yes, I'm anxious, but I'm just shooting water everywhere to stop the fire from over here", the husband said.

On Friday morning, the fire department told reporters the blaze has grown to 2,000 acres.

The Los Angeles Unified school district closed at least 15 schools and said bus service throughout the district would be delayed.

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The largest is the Saddleridge fire near Slymar that burned more than 4,600 acres and spread to the nearby Newhall Pass, Granada Hills and Porter Ranch.

Santa Ana winds gusting 20 to 35 miles per hour.

"It started just eating up vegetation as fast as the eye can see".

The blaze is unpredictable, LAPD Chief Michel Moore warned, and he urged those in evacuation areas to follow orders to leave.

Fire crews are also fighting three smaller fires in Southern California - including one in Calimesa that's burned 500 acres and one in the Moreno Valley that's blackened 350. Both directions of the Foothill Freeway from the Golden State Freeway to the Ronald Reagan Freeway and the northbound Golden State Freeway's truck route in Sylmar were closed due to the fire for an unknown duration, the CHP said. Mandatory evacuations have been issued in surrounding areas, and the cause is under investigation.

An apocalyptic scene is emerging in Southern California after fast-moving wildfires broke out overnight, leaving two dead, destroying homes and forcing residents to flee.

The risk to life and property prompted Pacific Gas and Electric Co. cut power to about 730,000 customers, a move that California Gov. Gavin Newsom blamed on years of mismanagement by the utility.

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