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L.A. brush fire burns 15,600 acres

California wildfires
A wildfire burns near Los Angeles on Thursday.  

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- A large brush fire near Los Angeles has damaged or destroyed seven homes and forced the evacuation of 2,000 residents in the Santa Clarita Valley, firefighters said Thursday.

The fire more than doubled in size Thursday, swelling from 7,000 acres to 15,600 later in the day. About 20 percent had been contained by Thursday night.

A joint team of nearly 1,000 firefighters from Los Angeles, the U.S. Forest Service and other California agencies will continue battling the blaze for a third day Friday, with the help of water-dropping planes and 50 fire engines.

The fire ignited Wednesday afternoon in the Copper Hill area of San Franciscito Canyon.

Firefighters have had to contend with temperatures in the high 90s, low humidity and unpredictable winds, which tend to fuel and fan flames.

Residents of homes near the fire were ordered to evacuate by California Highway Patrol officers and are being assisted by the Red Cross.

At least five firefighters have suffered minor injuries in battling the blaze.

Santa Clarita is about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles.




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