Saddleridge fire forces 100,000 LA residents to evacuate

Two wildfires have destroyed dozens of homes near Los Angeles, killing a man and forcing some 100,000 residents to evacuate.

In the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the Saddleridge fire spread to more than 1900 hectares by Friday morning, moving uncontained at a rate of 300ha per hour, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Officials said one man died of cardiac arrest, which they attributed to the Saddleridge fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Some 23,000 homes and some 100,000 residents were under mandatory evacuation orders on Friday morning and should not expect the orders to be lifted for at least a few days, department officials said.

"This is a very dynamic fire," Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas told reporters. "Do not wait to leave."

Authorities were also fighting overnight to contain the Sandalwood fire in Riverside County, which had scorched about 300ha near Calimesa, about 100km east of downtown Los Angeles, by Friday.

It was only 10 percent contained as of Friday morning, Riverside County Fire Department officials said.

The latest blazes, among about 275 wildfires that have broken out so far this year, come one year after the deadliest and most destructive fire season ever recorded in California.

About 100 residents and firefighters were killed in 2018 and more than 8500 wildfires erupted last year, scorching more than 700,000ha and causing billions of dollars of damage.

Reuters / Newshub.