A hillside erupts in flame in Placerita Canyon in Santa Clarita, California, July 25. (CNN photo)
A raging wildfire in the US state of California has burned tens of thousands of acres and forced the evacuation of some 10,000 homes.
In Southern California, the so-called Sand Fire has set more than 37,000 acres of the Santa Clarita Valley ablaze, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The wildfire was concentrated near the town of Acton, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Los Angeles, as it spread a dark covering of smoke and dust over a wide area.
Fire authorities say one person has died in the fire, more than 18 homes have burned and 20,000 residents had been evacuated from their homes.
Temperatures hit 101 degrees (38 C) in the area and dried brush from the parched, drought conditions have helped spread the fire to about 57 square miles (148 square km).
Over 3,000 firefighters are battling the flames in extremely dry and smoky conditions, having to navigate steep terrains.
The extent of the fire's damage could be seen from satellite images that showed the burn scars left on the hills and canyons. Helicopters circled the blaze, dousing flames with water.
In Central California along the Pacific coast, the wildfire in Monterey County, called the Soberanes Fire, has burned more than 19,000 acres. The fire is bigger than the size of Manhattan in New York City.
The smoke from the fire, which has destroyed at least 20 homes, could be seen from about a hundred miles (160 km) north and about 300 miles (482 km) east. Air quality health alerts have been issued in the areas.

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