California fire heads north, threatens thousands

Wildfire engulfs the Angeles National Forest near Los Angeles on Sunday. AP

Firefighters trained their attention on the blaze's fast-moving northern front as more evacuations were ordered in the Los Angeles suburbs. While thousands have fled, two people who tried to ride out the firestorm in a backyard hot tub were critically burned. The pair in Big Tujunga Canyon, on the southwestern edge of the fire, "completely underestimated the fire" and the hot tub provided "no protection whatsoever", Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said on Sunday.

One of the two was treated and released and the other remained hospitalized in stable condition. A third person who stayed in an evacuation area near Mount Wilson also was burned Saturday, officials said.

"There were people that did not listen, and there were three people that got burned and got critically injured because they did not listen," Schwarzenegger said at a news conference at the fire command post. The blaze was only about 5 percent contained and had scorched 142 square kilometres in the Angeles National Forest.

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