Fast-moving fire forces evacuations north of Los Angeles

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STEVENSON RANCH, CA - OCTOBER 22: Smoke billows above a highway sign into the sky above where fires are spreading October 22, 2007 in Stevenson Ranch, California. Fires today began near the Magic Mountain Parkway which is one of more than a dozen fires that have hit Southern California damaging hundreds of structures and forcing thousands of evacuations. Fire conditions are dangerous this year as a result of the driest season since records began 130 years ago. (Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) —  A fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles has sent about 2,000 people fleeing from their homes.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department says the blaze broke out in the Stevenson Ranch foothill community Saturday afternoon.

It quickly chewed through 700 acres of dense dry brush amid high temperatures and winds gusting up to 25 mph.

More than 200 firefighters aided by water-dropping aircraft focused on creating a perimeter around homes that were threatened. Aerial photos showed the flames came to the property line of a ridgetop home that was covered in fire retardant.

The fire is 5 percent contained.

About 700 homes have been evacuated.

Fire Inspector Gustavo Medina said the fire is burning close to Interstate 5, the main artery connecting Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.