Firefighters spray water on blaze near La Vereda

Officials prepare to evacuate 22,000 people from Hemet wildfire’s path, raising dire warnings of high winds and lack of water: in latest images

Two wildfires are burning in the Sierra foothills southeast of Los Angeles, as the area gets only 2 feet of rain in five months, causing drought conditions that prompted officials to warn of extreme fire weather this week.

One fire, a 20-acre blaze at La Vereda near Hemet, has forced the evacuation of 22,000 people, the largest evacuation in the history of the county.

The fire is burning on a hilltop that the Department of National Parks and Recreation has used as a lookout point for fire crews battling the nearby La Brea fire. Fire rangers have also moved some 200,000 gallons of water from the Hemet fire and other fires burning on the area’s outskirts.

In these latest images, rangers say the fire is burning into dry brush that is making the conditions worse, even with the water being used to help slow the spread of the blaze.

In this picture taken in the La Vereda neighborhood Sunday, the blaze stands in the intersection of Lomas de la Vereda and Sierra Vista avenues.

In this image taken Sunday in the La Vereda neighborhood, the burned-out shell of a house is shown in the intersection of Lomas de la Vereda and Sierra Vista avenues.

Firefighters are using airplanes to drop water on the La Vereda blaze.

In this image, taken in the La Vereda neighborhood Sunday, firefighters are seen using aircraft to drop water on a wildfire.

A firefighter sprays water on a blaze that has moved closer to the La Vereda neighborhood on Sunday.

Photo: Mark Boster / Associated Press

Firefighters on Sunday sprayed water on a blaze in the La Vereda neighborhood.

Photo: Mark Boster / Associated Press

Firefighters are on the fire watch for La Vereda neighborhood on Sunday.

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