Wildfires broke out in rural California on Wednesday, spreading quickly through bone-dry brush and forcing people to flee their homes as the state
sweltered in a heat wave that could last until Labor Day.
In Castaic, in the northwest corner of Los Angeles County, the Route Fire burned through about 4,625 acres (1,872 hectares) of hills with scattered homes.
A fire that burned hundreds of acres in just a few hours shut down Interstate 5, which is a major north-south route.
Reports from the media showed a wall of flames moving uphill and smoke billowing thousands of feet into the air as planes dumped water from Castaic Lake,
which is close by. There were no reports of damage to buildings right away, but 94 people had to leave a mobile home park.
A primary school was also sent to safety. Forecasters said that temperatures in the area reached 107°F (42°C) and that winds gusted up to 17 mph (27 kph).
Thomas Ewald, the deputy chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said that eight firefighters were treated for heat-related problems. Six of them
were sent to hospitals, but all of them were in good shape. Ewald said at a news conference Wednesday night that more injuries were likely as crews dealt
State Route 94 had to be shut down. Officials say that the schools in the Mountain Empire Unified School District will be closed on Thursday.