Firefighters attack California blaze
Almost 750 firefighters battled one of California's worst wildfires of the year Friday, getting an initial containment line around the 3,200 hectare Crown wildfire near Antelope Valley some 100 kilometres north of Los Angeles, dpa reported.
Firefighters on the ground were aided by a fleet of air tankers and helicopters, which dumped tanks of water and fire retardant on the blaze in an effort to extend the 5-per-cent containment achieved by Friday morning, said Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Michael Bryant.
He told the Los Angeles Times that their priority is to protect "critical infrastructure," such as high-power lines that bring electricity to much of southern California.
Further north a fire that had gutted some 30 houses and forced the evacuation of some 2,000 residents was reported to be 46 per cent contained. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Wednesday, a day after the fire broke out Tuesday afternoon in the remote mountainous territory.