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Mobile home park burns as Southern California winds whip up

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California Utility Slammed For Blackouts That Left Millions Without Power

Schools and colleges in the area are closed and key freeways are shut down.

Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said the fire had grown to more than 7 square miles (18 square kilometres) and at least 25 homes had been damaged.

The fire prompted several freeway closures in the northern part of LA's San Fernando Valley. It is zero percent contained Friday morning.

An undetermined number of homes have been destroyed, and mandatory evacuations were called for more than 12,000 homes - often while occupants were sleeping - in and near Los Angeles' Porter Ranch and Granada Hills neighborhoods, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

'If you live in that area, please just pack up and leave now, ' a fire official told the Los Angeles Times.

The Saddleridge Fire is one of multiple fires burning in the region. "We have lost some homes".

Christie Lugo Leigh, a resident who evacuated, told KTLA in a phone interview that "the glow that surrounded us was so bright orange, it looked like it was in our back yard". He suggested the company needed to be far more surgical about future outages, saying some counties didn't need to be included in this week's blackouts.

Dazio reported from Los Angeles and Calimesa.

The blaze began Thursday night in Sylmar and jumped across the 210 and 5 freeways overnight as it spread.

Weather forecasters have warned of strong winds and "extremely critical fire" conditions Friday and state authorities have issued their highest fire alert - a red flag warning. A short time later the neighbors saw the garage on fire, but they don't know if she'd managed to escape, he said.

CalFire confirmed the blaze was ignited by burning trash dumped by a garbage truck driver in the area of Calimesa Boulevard and Sandalwood Drive at around 2 p.m. Thursday, and that flames spread into vegetation and into the Calimesa Mobile Home Park.

At least one person is dead in a fast-moving wildfire razing 4,700 acres north of Los Angeles, California, forcing thousands of others to flee. In Santa Rosa, a California wine country town where entire subdivisions were destroyed by a deadly 2017 wildfire, restaurateurs Mark and Terri Stark said they had to close one of their six restaurants after it lost power.

As Vigliotti reported, figuring out where to cut power has not been a flawless science.

Hundreds of thousands of Californians are without power, some for the second straight day, after energy giant Pacific Gas & Electric temporarily cut off service to their accounts.

An account can be a single-family home or a large business, and generally represents about 2½ people. PG&E also announced that by reconfiguring its power system, it had restored electricity to 44,000 customers who weren't in areas of high fire risk, and it could bring back power to 60,000 to 80,000 customers in the Humboldt area, where gusty winds had subsided.

"As soon as the weather passes, PG&E will begin safety inspections with 6,300 field personnel and 45 helicopters standing at the ready once we get the all clear", the utility said in a tweet on Thursday.

Marybel Batjer, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, blasted PG&E's communication and said the situation was unacceptable.

They are common regular and natural weather phenomenon, but scientists will likely be looking to see if there are increasing or decreasing trends that can be connected to man-made climate change, Heffernan said. "They created these conditions".

California's biggest utility faced hostility and second-guessing Thursday for shutting off electricity to millions of people to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires.

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