AP PHOTOS: Wildfires batter northern, southern California

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AP PHOTOS: A Los Angeles wildfire forces thousands to flee, while a blaze in Northern California wine country explodes in size …

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A wildfire on Los Angeles’ wealthy west side destroyed several homes and forced thousands to flee early Monday, while a blaze in Northern California wine country exploded in size.

The flames that roared up a hillside near the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles’ Brentwood section illustrated the unprecedented danger the state faces as high winds batter both ends of California.

California’s biggest utility cut off power to an estimated 2.5 million people in the northern part of the state over the weekend to prevent its equipment from sparking more fires. More deliberate blackouts are possible in the coming days.

Pacific Gas & Electric acknowledge Monday that despite the outages, its power lines may have started two smaller fires over the weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has also said its transmission lines may have been responsible for the Sonoma County fire.

That blaze has exploded to more than 100 square miles (260 square kilometers), destroying at least 40 homes. Nearly 200,000 people were under evacuation orders, mostly from Santa Rosa.

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