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Thousands flee CA wildfires

Hot, dry conditions fan wildfires across southwestern states

June 5, 2016

Thousands of California residents were ordered to evacuate as weekend wildfires threatened more than 3,500 homes. Hot and dry weather with the potential of high winds were blamed for the seriousness of the fires.

A fire in the mountains west of Los Angeles, began when a truck hit a utility pole near Calabasas. By Sunday afternoon, the blaze was reported to have destroyed a large commercial building and damaged two homes. Being called the "Old Fire," because it has been burning near Old Topanga Canyon Road, the fire burned up to the edge of the property for two local schools.

Old Fire was approximately 40 percent contained by Sunday afternoon.

The Coleman Fire in Monterey County which is also threatening homes, was first reported Saturday afternoon west of King City and by Sunday morning had already blackened more than 3,500 acres. About 400 firefighters from the National Forest Service and CALFIRE were battling the blaze which is moving into the Ventana Wilderness where it could burn 35,000 acres.

Fire crews were also battling: the Soda Fire which had burned more than 2,000 in San Luis County and was 80 percent contained Sunday afternoon; the Chimney Fire which had burned more than 1,800 acres in the South Central Sierra mountains and was 90 percent contained Sunday; and the Pala Fire in San Diego County which was 90 percent contained late Sunday morning.

Firefighters were also battling wildfires in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Minnesota.

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