Breaking News: New Fire Threatens California Homes - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Breaking News: New Fire Threatens California Homes

PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) - New brush fires swept over rural hills in Los Angeles County on Thursday, while good weather to the north aided firefighters building containment lines around two wildfires that destroyed homes in remote mountain communities earlier in the week.

Water-dropping helicopters and engine crews rushed to two blazes on both sides of State Route 14 northeast of Santa Clarita, a northern Los Angeles suburb, as orange flames exploded through dry brown grasses.

An out-of-control wildfire burning north of State Route 14 was closing in on homes in the hills around Palmdale in northern Los Angeles County.

Fire Inspector Matt Levesque said about 1,200 homes in Leona Valley and parts of Palmdale were under mandatory evacuation orders Thursday evening as the blaze burned through more than 7 square miles.

KCAL-TV showed at least one structure fully engulfed in flames.

The blaze jumped Elizabeth Lake Road in several places, sending firefighters and sheriffs deputies scattering.

Levesque says the fire is active on all flanks, and driven by heavy brush and dry brown grasses that burn easily.

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