Residents watched, waited until flames descended

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) — Residents of the rural community of Lake Hughes in northern Los Angeles County are waiting out a wildfire at a Red Cross shelter in nearby Palmdale.

Dozens of people fled the vast wildfire that’s chewed through more than 46 square miles of old chaparral and threatened two hamlets at the edge of Angeles National Forest.

Firefighters doubled containment of the blaze to 40 percent today, as cool, moist air moved in and flames moved to a desert area.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Matt Corelli says firefighters are now able to work more on attacking flames than on structure protection.

At least six houses have been destroyed by the fire, nine more were damaged, and 2,800 people fled 700 homes in Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth, 45 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

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