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Homes evacuated as wildfire spreads

Firefighters are planing an aggressive air attack against a fast-moving wildfire that started in northern Los Angeles County, spreading through more than seven square miles of dry brush, forcing thousands of evacuations and destroying at least three properties.

Three water-dropping helicopters and hundreds of firefighters worked through the night to get ahead of the blaze that broke out on Thursday afternoon south west of Palmdale.

By early evening, the winds had picked up and pushed the flames north and east toward the suburbs of Los Angeles County's inland desert, authorities said.

Orange flames exploded through dry grasses, jumped roads and sped across the rural foothills that connect Los Angeles to the high desert.

The fire broke out north of a state highway that snakes through the San Gabriel Mountains, connecting Los Angeles to the high desert. Angeles National Forest lands lie on either side.

About 2,000 homes in the community of Leona Valley and parts of Palmdale were evacuated, according to Los Angeles County fire officials. Two outbuildings and a hay house were destroyed by the flames.

Further north in Kern County, good weather helped firefighters build containment lines around two wildfires that destroyed homes in remote mountain communities earlier in the week.

The cause of the fires is under investigation.

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