AP PHOTOS: Wind-whipped wildfires clobber California again

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Wildfires roared through hills in Southern California, pushed by the region’s whipping Santa Ana winds that often fuel flames in October.

The fires, driven by little moisture and ferocious wind, drew dangerously close to homes, forcing tens of thousands to flee and spreading smoke over highways and neighborhoods. Two firefighters have been critically injured, and crews worked Tuesday to gain control.

The two fires around the Orange County cities of Irvine and Yorba Linda come during a wildfire season that peaked early. October and November are traditionally the worst months for fires, but blazes have already burned a record amount of land throughout California, while causing deaths and destroying people’s houses and businesses.

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