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Update on Southland wildfires

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Irfan Khan/ Los Angeles Times

The temperatures have heated up, but the winds have calmed down in the San Fernando Valley today, giving tenacious fire crews the advantage over two deadly wildfires. One man was killed when his makeshift home was consumed by fire and another person died in a freeway crash on a smoke shrouded freeway. At a news conference this morning, Governor Schwarzenegger announced three firefighters had been injured battling these blazes as well.

The largest in Porter Ranch is only 20 percent contained, but fire crews have been able to stop the rampaging 13 thousand-plus acre fire from burning its way to the Pacific coast. Still, 19 homes have been destroyed and six others damaged. Hundreds of people were evacuated and some are still not being allowed to return to the area. According to the L.A. Times website the wildfire may have been sparked by a fallen power line.

Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the valley in the Lake View Terrace area, most of the evacuated fire victims were allowed to go home to assess the damage and begin the clean-up today. In the Sky Terrace Mobile Lodge, 38 homes were left in ruins, while 22 others are still intact. The four-day-old  48 hundred acre wildfire is now 80 percent contained. It is now burning on the southern fringe of the Angeles National Forest. Authorities are still searching for the exact cause; they suspect arson.

Also, during the morning news conference, Governor Schwarzenegger declared a State of Emergency in San Bernardino County. That means that county is now eligible for state funds and assistance. Earlier in the week, the governor announced a State of Emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties because of the wind-whipped wildfires.

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