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The Latest: Brush fire forces Burbank residents from homes

Posted September 2

The Latest on wildfires burning in U.S. West (all times local):

11:50 p.m.

The Los Angeles Fire Department has issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents in Burbank as a raging brush fire threatens their homes.

Residents in the Brace Canyon Park area of Burbank were ordered to leave their homes Friday night.

The fire department says approximately 50 homes are being threatened. An evacuation center has been set up for displaced residents.

The brush fire north of Los Angeles also has shut down both sides of key freeway for holiday weekend travel.

The fire department says the blaze is burning on both sides of Interstate 210. The closure of a 12-mile (19-kilometer) stretch is expected to last all night.

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6:45 p.m.

Firefighters are battling a brush fire just north of Los Angeles that has shut down both sides of a key freeway for holiday weekend travel.

The Fire Department says high heat and shifting winds helped the fire surge to 500 acres on Friday.

Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart says the fire is burning on both sides of Interstate 210. The closure of a 12-mile stretch is expected to last all night, which will cause serious traffic trouble for Labor Day weekend travelers.

Subdivisions full of houses are within a mile of the flames, but officials say none are immediately threatened. About 200 people have voluntarily evacuated.

Huge flames are burning on hilltops and smoke is visible for miles around. A plume is looming over an Ikea store and crowded shopping centers in nearby Burbank, and is visible from Griffith Park and northern Los Angeles.

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5 p.m.

A lightning-sparked wildfire was burning within 16 miles of Burning Man but officials say there's no threat to the counter-culture festival underway in northern Nevada.

Bureau of Land Management spokesman John Gaffney told the Reno Gazette-Journal on Friday that the fire had burned 83 square miles and was spreading in all directions, fueled by volatile cheat grass.

Though 110 firefighters had not contained the blaze, Gaffney says there's no immediate threat to the thousands of free spirits who erect a makeshift city and celebrate art and music on the dusty ancient lake bed on the Black Rock Desert about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of Reno.

Seven ranches and a geothermal plant remain threatened.

Firefighters are working to keep open the main route for the festival that culminates Saturday night when a towering effigy is burned.

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4:15 p.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for another wildfire as scorching temperatures complicate firefighters' efforts to extinguish blazes.

The declaration for Butte County came Friday as a fire near Oroville spread to thousands of acres after destroying 20 homes and threatening 500 others.

It has also damaged power lines and closed roads north of Sacramento.

A day earlier, Brown declared a state of emergency for a wildfire in Trinity County.

Cal Fire said on its website that the fire near Oroville had consumed nearly 6 square miles (15 square kilometers) and was 30 percent contained.

The temperature in Oroville hit 108 degrees (42 degrees C).

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12:45 p.m.

Federal officials say one of the worst wildfire seasons in the U.S. is likely to continue scorching western states and blanket large swaths with smoke until cooler weather patterns with rain or snow arrive later in the fall.

Forecasters at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise on Friday released the four-month outlook that predicts September will continue hot and dry with above normal fire potential in northwestern states, Nevada and California.

The 10,600 square miles (27,500 square kilometers) that have burned at this point rank the 2017 wildfire season as the third worst in the last decade.

The center says more than 25,000 firefighters and fire support personnel are spread out across the Western U.S. fighting 56 large uncontained wildfires, 21 of them in Montana and 17 in Oregon.

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8:52 a.m.

Fire officials say a wildfire burning near the Northern California town of Oroville has destroyed 20 homes.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the blaze about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Sacramento had consumed nearly 6 square miles (15 square kilometers). It's threatening 500 homes.

Fire crews increased containment to 30 percent overnight ahead of a statewide heat wave.

But officials say the fire's location in steep and rugged terrain plus hot and dry temperatures are complicating firefighters' efforts.

More firefighters are joining the more than 1,600 already battling the fire.

The blaze is one of many wildfires across the U.S. West, including fires in and around California's Yosemite National Park that have closed a popular road into the park prompted evacuations of nearby towns.

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