California Governor Declares Wildfire Emergency

August 28, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles and Monterey counties as wildfires burn large areas and threaten homes. The order Friday comes as firefighters battle two blazes in the Angeles National Forest above Los Angeles' northeastern suburbs and mop up the remnants of an overnight fire on the Palos Verdes Peninsula that singed six houses. The fires have forced the evacuation of numerous homes.

In Monterey County, a wildfire near Soledad has reached 5,000 acres, or nearly 8 square miles. About 100 homes are under evacuation orders.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report
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FIRE INFORMATION

A massive fire continues to burn in the La Canada Flintridge area, charring about 1,500 acres in steep terrain. The Station Fire is 10 percent contained on Friday.

Authorities said homes on Starlight Crest Drive are threatened. City officials issued voluntary evacuations for 873 homes north of Vista Del Valle Road, east of La Canada Boulevard, and from La Canada Country Club north of Starlight Crest Drive.

There are no mandatory evacuation orders at this time.

An evacuation center has been set up at La Canada High School at 4463 Oak Grove Drive.

The Station Fire broke out in the Angeles National Forest at about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, and kicked up late Thursday afternoon. Flames are burning in the hills along the Angeles Crest Highway close to homes.

Some residents say they are already packed and ready to evacuate.

"(The fire) is right behind the house," said Omar Moheize from La Canada Flintridge.

There are no reports of structures damaged or destroyed.

There are 700 firefighters from several different agencies battling the Station Fire. Crews face extremely hot conditions again on Friday as the fire burns in very dry brush.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Highway 2 is closed north of the golf course, and Angeles Crest Highway is closed from La Canada to Clear Creek Junction.

A second fire burning in the Angeles National Forest is is 60 percent contained Friday morning.

The Morris Fire is burning five miles north of Azusa near Morris Dam.

Voluntary evacuations are in effect for anyone living above Valley of the Moon.

Several roads in the area have been closed to the public.

The Morris Fire started late Tuesday afternoon near San Gabriel Canyon Road and the Morris Dam and Reservoir. Since then, nearly 2,000 acres have burned.

No structures have been damaged or destroyed, but three firefighters received minor injuries while fighting the Morris Fire.

The flames are in steep, mostly inaccessible terrain in the canyon, making it difficult for fire crews to gain control.

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