Hundreds of homes threatened by California wildfires

At least 18 homes lost and another 1,500 threatened as flames churn through tinder-dry canyons north of Los Angeles.

| US & Canada, Environment

A massive wildfire destroyed at least 18 homes and threatened 1,500 more as flames churned through tinder-dry canyons north of Los Angeles.

The fire on Sunday had gained ferocious new power two days after it broke out, sending so much smoke in the air that planes making drops on it had to be grounded for part of the afternoon.

About 480km up the coast, crews were battling another fire spanning more than 44sq km that destroyed six homes on Sunday and forced evacuations outside the scenic Big Sur region.

About 900 firefighters were battling the blaze in temperatures exceeding 41C, aided by 28 water-dropping helicopters and eight fixed-winged aircraft.

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