Calif. Crews Battle Three Wildfires, Evacs Continue

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Wildfires in Southern California have forced more than 1,200 residents from their homes.

Firefighters continue to battle three fires in the Los Angeles area -- two within 60 miles of each other.

Orange flames shot through the dry vegetation, jumped roads, and raced across the foothills from Los Angeles to the high desert.

At least 2,000 homes in the Leona Valley and the Palmdale area are under a mandatory evacuation.

There is zero containment, fire officials said.

"Man, it looks bad outside. If I step outside the restaurant, it's just insane looking - black and orange smoke and helicopters going through, dropping water," said Jamie Karschamroon, 29, the co-owner of Crazy Otto's diner in Leona Valley.

Meanwhile, the weather has helped firefighters in the fight against a 2 1/2-square-mile wildfire on the western edge of the Mojave Desert. As of Friday morning, the fire was 44 percent contained after burning about 30 homes and other structures in a community known as Old West Ranch.

Still, the community remains evacuated, affecting about 150 people, said John Buchanan, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The blaze erupted Tuesday afternoon and rapidly swept through an area where Kern County fire authorities say there is no history of any fires on record, meaning vegetation hadn't burned there in more than a century.

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