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Thousands evacuated from wildfire

Residents have fled from thousands of homes as a wildfire pushed towards southern California mountain communities.

Evacuation orders affected 2,200 homes and 6,000 residents and visitors, the US Forest Service said.

Winds that were moving the fire into wilderness are beginning to change direction, said a spokeswoman for the Forest Service.

Very hot and dry conditions are forecast for the next two days, said Tina Rose, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Ms Rose said the fire is showing extreme behaviour in an area that had not burned in many years.

"The slightest little spark is going to make a run and torch trees," she added. "It's just so bone dry."

The blaze destroyed three houses, damaged another and destroyed three mobile homes, a cabin, a garage and about half a dozen vehicles, the Forest Service said.

The wildfire started on Monday. Nearly 3,000 firefighters and 25 aircraft have the blaze about 15% contained.

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