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Scorching heat threatens to propel California wildfires; hundreds of homes evacuated

Fire off of Highway 46 near Whitley Gardens

Meanwhile, north of the city in San Luis Obispo County, the Alamo Fire ballooned overnight to encompass more than 24,000 acres, making it the largest fire now burning in California, fire officials said Sunday.

In Santa Barbara County, the Whittier Fire began Saturday (July 8) and quickly expanded within hours, burning more than 5,000 acres, county spokeswoman Gina DePinto said.

A summer camp in Santa Barbara County was evacuated after the flames had trapped about 140 staff and children. If the winds shifted towards the northwest, more homes could be gutted by the fire, she further said, Los Angeles Times reported.

She said the firefighters' main focus on Saturday was to secure the south and east sides of the blaze.

A wildfire near Lake Cachuma in the Santa Ynez Valley remained "completely out of control" on Sunday, and residents and campers were evacuated throughout the area.

The heat broke a 131-year-old record in Los Angeles, as the National Weather Service reported the temperature hit 96 degrees on Saturday.

Wildfires are threatening hundreds of homes, as a wildfire spreads through California.

Tom Horning, a camper from San Diego, said he spent two days in Lake Cachuma, near where the fire burned, when his wife got a text asking if they were able to evacuate safely.

The grass fire in northwestern Colorado had burned 18 square miles (47 square kilometers) and was spreading in several directions at once because of wind patterns from passing thunderstorms, fire information officer Chris Barth said. The fast-moving fire grew from 500 acres to more than 3,000 acres Friday afternoon.

With 90-degree heat and low humidity fueling conditions, firefighters were scrambling to contain the fire, as well as a second fire - the Tower fire - burning in San Luis Obispo County.

About 300 residents were notified of mandatory evacuations at Tepusquet Road from Blazing Saddle Drive to Santa Maria Mesa Road, Blazing Saddle Drive, White Rock Lane and Colson Canyon.

Zaniboni says five helicopters and four planes are attacking the flames and working to protect homes.