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3 firefighters injured, 2 homes damaged in Los Angeles-area wildfires

By Yvette C. Hammett and Allen Cone
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Fire crews from all around Los Angeles County stepped up to help fight a wild fire in Calbasas, California, reportedly started Saturday when a car crashed in to power lines. Photo from City of Calabasis/Twitter
Fire crews from all around Los Angeles County stepped up to help fight a wild fire in Calbasas, California, reportedly started Saturday when a car crashed in to power lines. Photo from City of Calabasis/Twitter

CALABASAS, Calif., June 5 (UPI) -- Three firefighters were injured and two homes were damaged Sunday while about 400 firefighters continued to battle a wildfire in an upscale neighborhood in the Los Angeles area.

Originally, 5,000 residents and businesses in the Calabasas area were forced to evacuate on Saturday, but many Calabasas residents could return early Sunday, Randall Wright, an inspector with the Los Angeles Fire Department said at a news conference. He said the area around Tapanga Canyon still was under a mandatory evacuation.

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It's a relatively affluent area that is home to a few celebrities, including the Kardashians, Jessica Simpson and Toni Braxton, CNN reported.

The fire was 30 percent contained Sunday afternoon, Wright said.

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"Humidity is around 15 percent and we have about five miles an hour of wind, so the weather's cooperating a bit," Wright said.

Power was knocked out to 681 homes Saturday evening but was restored to all but two by Sunday, said Southern California Edison spokesman Robert Villegas.

L.A. Fire Capt. Keith Mora said the initial call was for a car crash into a power pole with power lines down. Firefighters in the field also reported seeing power lines down.

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Deputies with the sheriff's department said a black truck struck a pole in the 2300 block of Mulholland Highway. Witnesses told investigators the truck was speeding before it hit the power pole, knocking it over and causing a transformer to explode, which sparked the fire, ABC7 reported.

Deputies helped fight the fire, the department reported on Twitter.

Some buildings are at risk and fire officials said nearby Camp Wildcraft, a new campground set to open for the first time on June 13, appears to be a complete loss.

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Camp Wildcraft spokeswoman Shari Davis confirmed that the camp has sustained heavy damage but said firefighters were able to save the oldest home in Calabasas, the Masson residence.

The city of Calabasas ordered horses and large animals to be evacuated to Pierce College, while small animals, like dogs and cats, were to be evacuated to the Agoura Animal Shelter.

Ash from the fire was reported in North Hollywood and Burbank, and even as far as Arcadia.

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