Thousands evacuated in California fire

By AAP Newswire

Nearly 8000 residents in Southern California have been forced to evacuate their homes as a wildfire spread uncontained across more than 1600 hectares, the County fire department said.

The fire, dubbed the Apple Fire by local firefighters, was reported on Friday in Cherry Valley, a community about 120km east of Los Angeles and had destroyed at least one family home as of Saturday evening.

Photographs shared by the Riverside County fire department on Twitter on Saturday showed thick plumes of smoke filling the sky over the mountainous region.

Residents of 2586 homes, totaling around 7800 people, had been told to evacuate, the department said.