LEBEC, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire charred nearly a square mile of steep brush and grassland on Friday, threatening about 50 homes in Southern California.

Residents in Digier Canyon were ordered to leave as about 150 firefighters and 10 aircraft battled the blaze about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, Kern County fire Capt. Alex Entenman said

The cause of the fire, which was 50 percent contained, was being investigated.

On the opposite coast, North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley declared a state of emergency Friday as firefighters worked to contain a massive wildfire at the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge that spread smoke as far north as Richmond, Va.

The 28,985 fire was only 30 percent contained. No injuries or structure damage were reported. Authorities urged the evacuation of about 80 homes.