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State of Emergency Called as Fires Burn in Sequoia National Forest & Near Tehachapi

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The immediate Los Angeles area has so far been spared of major wildfires this year, but further up north, things got rough yesterday. More than 15,000 acres have been charred and around than 2,300 people have been evacuated in two blazes burning in the southern Central Valley's Kern County, prompting Governor Arnold Schwarzengger last night to declare a state of emergency.

In the Sequoia National Forest, the Bull Fire has burned some 11,000 acres with firefighters -- about 1,000 fire personnel has been dedicated to this fire -- only containing it by 5 percent. About six homes have been lost.

Also in Kern County is the smaller but more devastating West Fire. Since yesterday, the 1,230-acre conflagration has burned through 30 to 40 homes "secluded, electricity- and water-free community of Old West Ranch near the small city of Tehachapi," as CNN describes it.