So. Cal. fires casts a blackened sky across L.A.

Posted: Updated:
Firefight continues
azfamily.com

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Firefighters are making progress against one of three southern California wildfires.

The fires have been swept by gusting Santa Ana winds and charred more than 25 square miles in three days.

The fiercest are burning in the San Fernando Valley, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Firefighters say one of the blazes is nearly 70 percent contained, after the erratic wind in that part of the valley calmed down.

In San Diego County, authorities have eased an evacuation order for about 1,000 homes around Camp Pendleton.

Another 500 homes near the Marine base remain empty.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

He's urging residents to be prepared for rapidly changing fire conditions.

At least two deaths are blamed on the fires, which have destroyed dozens of homes.

Investigators are looking into the cause of all three fires.