California wildfires: Householders on alert

A resident watches flames race across hills as a raging brush fire pushes towards the coast in Camarillo. Picture: Reuters

A resident watches flames race across hills as a raging brush fire pushes towards the coast in Camarillo. Picture: Reuters

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A WIND-DRIVEN wildfire is raging along the California coast north of Los Angeles, threatening 3,000 homes and prompting evacuations of a university campus and several residential areas.

The so-called Springs Fire, which has engulfed several farm buildings and recreational vehicles – but so far no homes – had consumed 8,000 acres of dry, dense chaparral and brush by late on Thursday.

The blaze erupted on Thursday morning beside the US 101 freeway, less than ten miles inland from the Pacific coast. Fanned by hot, dry Santa Ana winds, it reached the Pacific Coast Highway by evening and was burning south toward Malibu.

The outbreak of brush and wildfires marked a fierce start to a fire season in California that weather forecasters predict will be worsened by a summer of high temperatures and drought throughout much of the west.

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