A fire threatening a thousand structures in California exploded in size overnight, burning dangerously close to two foothill communities north of Los Angeles.

According to officials, erratic winds are being blamed for fueling the fire in the Angeles National Forest to nearly 41 square miles late Saturday and early Sunday.

So far, five structures have been destroyed and hundreds have been forced to evacuate their homes in the Lake Hughes area.

Residents of Lake Elizabeth and the Green Valley areas were also evacuated as the fire continued to burn out of control even as water-dropping helicopters worked late into the night to protect homes.

About 19,500 acres has burned so far.