09:05 GMT +308 December 2019
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    The Cave Fire in the hills of Santa Barbara, California

    Fire Brigades Fight Cave Fire in California

    © REUTERS / DAVID MCNEW
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    The blaze began on Monday in Los Padres National Forest and spread widely, with some 17.4 square kilometres ((1,740 hectares) of ground burning next to the cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta, a two hours' drive north of Los Angeles.

    On Tuesday, some 600 California firefighters battled a forest fire which was fueled by wind and got out of control, putting thousands of homes at risk and causing evacuation orders.

    Officials said that helicopters and fixed-wing planes have come to the aid of fire brigades waging their battle across the harsh terrain.

    "The Cave Fire is burning under some of the toughest firefighting conditions anywhere in the world", said Los Padres National Forest Fire Chief Jimmy Harris. "We've experienced several offshore wind events at this point, and that has just dried the fuel bed out to the point where we're seeing the fire behavior we saw last night", he added.

    He said that firefighters were forced to face high winds, which push the flames up and down the hills.

    ​Authorities added that the Cave fire has not been contained yet but the hope for heavy rains remains.

    Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said that about 4,000 locals who fled the blaze would be permitted to return home on Tuesday afternoon.

    Thousands of people had to leave their homes in California in October amid raging wildfires. Massive power shutoffs have been introduced. California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced a state of emergency and said that the state could take over Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which has been criticized for its faulty power infrastructure and widespread blackouts enforced in October.

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    Los Angeles, Forest fire, firefighters, fire, California
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