Wildfires Force Frantic Evacuations Near LA; 2 Die

Residents near Los Angeles are being warned to stay on alert during the night as two huge wildfires burn in parts of the San Fernando Valley. Strong Santa Ana winds that could exceed 60 mph are forecast overnight. Fire officials fear the winds will blow embers across a wider area.

A U.S. forest service firefighter battles towering flames burning along Little Tugunga Road, in the Angeles National Forest, about 20 miles north of downtown Los Angeles on Sunday Oct. 12, 2008. Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Ron Haralson says the blaze has charred up to 750 acres in the rugged area of Little Tujunga Canyon. (AP Photo/Mike Meadows)

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Residents near Los Angeles are being warned
to stay on alert during the night as two huge wildfires burn in
parts of the San Fernando Valley.
Strong Santa Ana winds that could exceed 60 mph are forecast
overnight. Fire officials fear the winds will blow embers across a
wider area.
More than 1,000 firefighters and nine water-dropping aircraft
are battling the 4,700-acre Marek Fire at the northeast end of the
valley, and the 5,000-acre Sesnon Fire at the west end.
Officials say the fire has the real potential of moving from
where it is now to the ocean in ``a matter of two to three hours.''
They're warning people not to stay home after being ordered to
evacuate because they may not be able to outrun the fire.
Two deaths have been reported, and more than dozen of homes have
burned. More than 15 square miles have been charred by both flames
combined.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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