Los Angeles sends wildfire alert SMS to prepare residents for emergency

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Los Angeles City Emergency Management Department sent a wildfire emergency alert to mobile phone users in the region Wednesday night so that they could be in a state of readiness to evacuate, if necessary.

"Strong winds overnight creating extreme fire danger. Stay alert. Listen to authorities," the text message said.

Kate Roypirom, a resident of Porter Ranch, a community 17 km west of Sylmar which has been suffering from a rapidly-spreading wildfire since Tuesday morning, said the message made her take emergency action.

"I packed the important things... (and) was ready to evacuate. My friend let us ... stay in their house," the 42-year-old told Xinhua.

The brush fire near Sylmar, 42 km northwest of downtown Los Angeles, burned down 30 houses and by Wednesday night was threatening about 2,500 more homes, despite 1,700 firefighters battling the blaze for more than 36 hours.

The authorities said Wednesday night that the fire had been contained by 5 percent.

[ Editor: meng ]


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