Emergency Declared as Fires Lash LA Homes

2 killed, dozens of homes destroyed as flames roar into northern LA
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2008 3:07 AM CDT
A firefighter works on a hot spot near Porter Ranch yesterday.   (AP Photo/Hector Mata)
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(Newser) – California's governor has declared a state of emergency as twin wind-driven wildfires  tear through north Los Angeles. Unpredictable 60 mph Santa Ana winds are shooting roaring flames up canyons, and firefighters fear that one blaze—which has already jumped an eight-lane freeway—could burn all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Thousands of people have been evacuated, reports the Los Angeles Times.

"This is what we feared the most," one fire captain said. "The winds that were expected, they have arrived." Thousands of acres have been burned and the fires have already caused at least two deaths. A homeless man died when flames engulfed his makeshift shelter and a motorist was killed on a freeway ramp as drivers started turning around to escape the fire.