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Weather & Natural Disasters

California wildfires: A long, hot summer begins

A fire crew takes shelter behind an engine as the Sherpa Fire advances at El Capitan State Beach in Santa Barbara, California, U.S. in this handout photo released to Reuters June 16, 2016.
Mike Eliason | Santa Barbara County Fires Department | Reuters

Firefighters battle wildfires across Southern California and a triple-digit heat wave scorches the Southwest — and it's only the first day of summer. Thousands of residents have already fled their homes as firefighters try to contain the blistering flames.


Click ahead for images.

Emu on the run

An emu runs to escape an approaching wildfire as it burns near Potrero, California.
Mike Blake | Reuters

An emu runs away from the flames as firefighters battle a blaze near Potrero, California, near the Mexican border.

LA heat

Smoke from wildfires burning in Angeles National Forest fills the sky behind the Los Angeles skyline on Monday, June 20, 2016.
Ringo H.W. Chiu | AP

Smoke from wildfires burning in Angeles National Forest fills the sky behind the Los Angeles skyline on Monday. The wildfires several miles apart devoured hundreds of acres of brush on steep slopes above foothill suburbs.

Homes in danger

Flames come close to a home as firefighters battle a wildfire as it burns near Potero, California.
Mike Blake | Reuters

Flames come close to a home near Potero.

David vs. Goliath

Mike Eliason | Santa Barbara County Fires Department | Reuters

A fire crew takes shelter behind an engine as the Sherpa Fire advances at El Capitan State Beach in Santa Barbara, California.

Escaping the flames

Jimmy Romo, 73, leads the horses leaving his ranch as a wildfire is burning in Azusa, Calif., Monday, June 20, 2016. New wildfires erupted Monday near Los Angeles and chased people from their suburban homes as an intense heatwave stretching from the West Coast to New Mexico blistered the region.
Ringo H.W. Chiu | AP

A rancher leads two of his horses as a wildfire is burns near his ranch in Azusa, northeast of Los Angeles.

Inside the inferno

Firefighters battle an expanding wildfire, June 17, 2016 at the Sherpa Fire near Santa Barbara, California.
David McNew | AFP | Getty Images

Firefighters battle an expanding wildfire on Friday at the Sherpa Fire near Santa Barbara, California. A day earlier, the fire in the Los Padres National Forest had expanded to 2 square miles, making it the area's largest since 2009.

Battle fatigue

U.S. Forest Service firefighters walk to their truck after battling a wildfire near Potrero California.
Mike Blake | Reuters

Weary U.S. Forest Service firefighters walk to their truck after battling a wildfire near Potrero.