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Southern California wildfire near Los Angeles declared 33% contained

Tens of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes as firefighters battle a blaze raging on.

Los Angeles firefighters battle flames near homes in Sylmar, California (Michael Owen Baker/AP)
Los Angeles firefighters battle flames near homes in Sylmar, California (Michael Owen Baker/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

The wildfire in the San Fernando Valley on the edge of Los Angeles is now 33% contained, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The blaze covers 12 square miles (31 square kilometres) and has forced tens of thousands of people to abandon their homes since erupting late on Thursday.

The department said on Saturday night that winds and temperatures have fallen to normal levels after the Santa Ana winds passed through the region.

But the department added that a man went into cardiac arrest and died at the scene of the blaze.

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Embers from fires are drifting in strong winds, spreading the flames further (Michael Owen Baker/AP)

Helicopters and planes are making repeated drops of water and fire retardant as about 1,000 firefighters on the ground attack the flames in and around homes. A number of properties have been destroyed.

Authorities announced on Saturday that all evacuation orders for the wildfire had been lifted.

In a tweet, the Los Angeles Police Department says: “We thank members of the community for promptly heeding the evacuation orders and their patience as we worked to contain the fire.”

PA

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