California Firefighters Battle Wildfire

By: Teri Okita
By: Teri Okita
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People forced from their homes as a wildfire looms dangerously close in Los Angeles. Hundreds of firefighters are on the front lines trying to stop the dangerous wildfire from spreading.

"To everyone's surprise this really blew up after the sun went down."

Water dropping helicopters and hundreds of firefighters spent the night tackling the flames roaring through Griffith Park.

The fast moving blaze through the rugged Hollywood Hills jumped fire lines as it burned just to the east of the landmark observatory

"Everytime we think they are getting a handle on it a giant flare-up."

Swirling winds, steep terrain and very hot dry Los Angeles weather helped fan the flames.

"All residents must leave the area.. immediately mandatory evacuation."

Authorities ordered residents in the nearby Los Feliz neighborhood to leave their homes.

"I am trying to get out.. I kind of stuck around a little bit longer than I should have I guess," said Steve Yoo, a Los Feliz resident.

This area lost power last night. Families put a few essentials in the car then headed to friends' homes or a shelter set up by the city.

Authorities are investigating whether a discarded cigarette on one of the park's golf courses started this fire.. and are interviewing a person of interest.

"We have a person who was burned and we are questioning that person to determine if the burns were in connection to this fire."

By early Wednesday morning the fire chief said crews had made a significant stop on the south end of the fire line where homes were threatened.

"The most tragic loss tonight has been that of Dante's View, a favorite garden for people, right above the bird sanctuary."

All of Griffith Park will be closed Wednesday as fresh crews head in to continue the aggressive attack on this fire.

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