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A helicopter dropping water on the Saddleridge fire. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

A swiftly moving wildfire in Los Angeles County's San Fernando Valley has destroyed at least 25 homes and prompted evacuation orders for more than 100,000 people throughout Friday, the Washington Post reports.

The state of play: The Saddleridge fire erupted in Sylmar, the northernmost part of the valley, around 9 pm on Thursday, as forceful Santa Ana gusts swept through Southern California, AP writes. The flames are engulfing an estimated 800 acres per hour, and the original cause of the fire remains unknown.

  • The dry and windy conditions also spurred the Sandalwood fire, another blaze in area to the east, for which hundreds were evacuated from a mobile home park.

The impact: At least 1 person is dead and another person injured as a result of the Saddleridge fire, which officials say could take multiple days to contain.

Upstate, lights were flipped back on Friday for more than half of the 2 million northern California residents who lost power following Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s Wednesday call to prevent equipment from sparking wildfires amid dry and windy weather.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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