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California declares state of emergency over Los Angeles wildfire

By
Shawn Price
A state of emergency has been declared in California, and a local state of emergency declared in Los Angeles County as wildfires have burned 60,000 acres in Northern and Southern California. Neither fire is close to containment. Photo by Los Angeles County/Twitter
A state of emergency has been declared in California, and a local state of emergency declared in Los Angeles County as wildfires have burned 60,000 acres in Northern and Southern California. Neither fire is close to containment. Photo by Los Angeles County/Twitter

SACRAMENTO, July 27 (UPI) -- California declared a state of emergency Tuesday after a wildfire near Los Angeles has burned more than 37,000 acres, and another in Big Sur has burned more than 23,000 acres, officials said.

"Acting Governor Tom Torlakson today issued emergency proclamations for Los Angeles and Monterey counties due to the effects of the Sand and Soberanes fires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres of land, threatened thousands of homes and other structures and caused the evacuation of residents," read a statement from California Gov. Jerry Brown's office.

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Though many residents are already returning to their homes after evacuation orders were lifted Monday evening, the Sand fire in Santa Clarita north east of Los Angeles is still only 25 percent contained. Also, one person was killed and 18 homes have been destroyed.

Los Angeles County Supervisors also issued a declaration of a local state of emergency.

RELATED 1 dead, homes torched, thousands evacuated ahead of Southern California wildfire

"This will provide the reimbursements for firefighting personnel because we have personnel from all over California in the Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley fighting this fire," said County Supervisor Mike Antonovich. "It will provide assistance for those who had their homes and property damaged."

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The Soberanes fire in Northern California is only 10 percent contained, with 1,650 structures threatened, 20 homes destroyed and 300 people evacuated.

Smoke from the fires is affecting air quality in Los Angeles and San Jose.

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The U.S. Forest Service has also asked residents not to fly drones after a recent incident in the Soberanes fire that interfered with firefighters. The FAA has issued a temporary flight restriction in the area of the fires, meaning "any private aircraft or drone that violates the TFR could face serious criminal charges," according to the agency's site.

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