1,000 evacuated from CA wildfire

Wind-blown fire forces evacuation of 550 homes near Los Angles

SIERRA MADRE, CA | April 27, 2008

About 550 homes in Sierra Madre were evacuated Sunday as a wildfire burned out of control nearby.

Firefighters, battling the fire as temperatures have soared to nearly 100-degrees, say it may take days to control the fire which is burning in an area of dense brush.

The fire, which started about 3 PM Saturday, has burned more than 400 acres in the Angeles Forest north of the city. Much of area has not been burned in more than 40 years.

As temperatures are predicted to reach nearly 100-degrees today, Michael Bamberger, Sierra Madre Fire Department Battalion Chief, did not rule out more evacuations but said progress had been made to control the southern end of the fire closest to the city. According to the American Red Cross, about 50 residents spent Saturday night in shelters and more are expected Sunday night.

Sierra Madre is about 15 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

It is one of several wildfires reported burning in California Sunday but the only one that has prompted evacuations.

In New Mexico, fire crews were putting out hot spots as they try to contain the Trigo Fire. The nearly 5,000 acre fire, which has been burning for more than a week in the Manzano Mountains was just 60 per cent contained Saturday. At least nine weekend/summer homes have been burned by the fires and caused voluntary evacuations in two nearby towns.

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