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The fire left around 140,000 residents without power
More than 140,000 residents were left without power after a blaze at a power plant in Los Angeles.
Power had to be cut to allow firefighters to battle the fire at the Los Angeles department of water and power plant in North San Fernando Valley.
More than 80 firefighters fought the fire which broke out in a storage vault containing 50,000-60,000 gallons of mineral oil.
Local people reported the sound of an explosion but this has not been confirmed.
Much of the blaze on Saturday was out within two hours but firefighters were expected to stay at the scene to monitor possible flare-ups.
Drivers in the area were advised to take extra care as many roads would be without lights due to the power outage.
More than 80 firefighters fought the blaze
Officials were not able to say when power might be restored at the plant which serves 1.6 million customers in Los Angeles.
An employee said work was going on around the clock to restore power. He said: “It’s got to be done. People are without power.”
In a statement, the plant said: “The fire affected one portion of the receiving station, but as an emergency precautionary measure, power to and from the facility has been shut off while Los Angeles fire department personnel work to put the fire out.
Firefighters battle the blaze
“As soon as possible, crews will assess damage at the station and begin the work of restoring power to affected customers.”
The incident happened as Los Angeles recorded a second day of record high temperatures that exceeded 90F (32C).
Courtesy of Sky News
Firefighters battle through Oroville, California
Record-breaking temperatures have fuelled the spread of California wildfires as the mercury hit a sweltering 98F (36.6C) in Los Angeles.
It was the hottest in LA since the previous record of 95F (35C) was set 131 years ago.
Two wildfires have spread rapidly and threatened hundreds of homes, forcing evacuations at a lakeside camping ground and a summer camp where children and staff were temporarily trapped.
The blaze that broke out early on Saturday afternoon in California’s Santa Barbara County spread to both sides of Highway 154 and was “completely out of control”, county fire Captain Dave Zaniboni said.
A car is engulfed in flames in Oroville
Temperatures of up to 110F (43C) were predicted by forecasters for some inland areas and there were warnings that the elderly, children and outdoor workers could be at risk.
The heat and dry gusts helped fan more wildfires in Santa Barbara that spread over 30 square miles during an eight-hour period and forced the evacuation of about 200 homes in a rural area east of Santa Maria.
After five years of severe drought, California had record rainfall and snowfall in parts of the state this year which delayed the start of fire season in some areas.
However, this has also led to increased vegetation growth that could fuel future blazes.
In Northern California, a wildfire in Butte County spread through grassy foothills south of Oroville and destroyed 10 structures, including homes, with several people suffering minor injuries.
Motorists drive past the flames
Evacuation orders were lifted in Colorado and Montana towns threatened by wildfires, as air and ground crews battled a growing grass fire in northwestern Colorado.
In Colorado, residents of nearly 500 homes outside the ski town of Breckenridge were allowed to return home on Friday night.
An evacuation order was lifted in Landusky, Montana, in the Little Rocky Mountains south of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.
A wildfire in southern Wyoming spread over three miles and an unknown number of cabins remained under evacuation orders.
Courtesy of Sky News
Adelaide is having its hottest Christmas Day in decades and has become the hottest capital city in Australia.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the temperature in the South Australian city reached 41.3C (106.3F) at 3.50pm.
“The last time when we had about 40C on Christmas Day was in 1945 and the temperature back then was 40.1C, so we’ve broken that record,” forecaster Kenneth Cheung told AAP.
Beach goers – in Adelaide and other parts of the country – posted pictures of themselves sunbathing and trying to cool off in the water as a heatwave affected large parts of southern and eastern Australia.
Melbourne recorded a maximum temperature of 36.3C, which was the hottest Christmas since 1998, according to local news reports.
In Sydney, with a comparatively mild 27.4C, many crowded the popular Bondi Beach outside Australia’s largest city.
Earlier this month, Sydney sweltered through its hottest December night in 148 years: 27.1C on 14 December.
Courtesy of Sky News