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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 October 2007, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
Californian fires affect TV shows
Fires near Irvine
Fires near Irvine, California forced 24 to halt production
Filming of TV shows including 24 has reportedly been hit by the wild fires sweeping across southern California.

Scenes featuring 24's lead star Kiefer Sutherland had to be halted at a military base near Irvine, Orange County, because of the smoke.

Other series were also hit, trade publication Hollywood Reporter said.

Fierce winds are fanning at least 16 fires that have razed land from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, forcing 500,000 people out of their homes.

The blazes have left three people dead and destroyed at least 1,300 homes and businesses, officials say. They have led to the biggest US evacuation since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Kiefer Sutherland
Kiefer Sutherland and crew had to switch to the show's stages
Producers of 24 had to cancel two days of filming at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro after cast and crew suffered blurry eyes and were having difficulty breathing.

Scenes were shot on the programme's dedicated stages instead.

"By 1 pm we're back here and had shot two other scenes," line producer Michael Klick told the Hollywood Reporter.

"When the dust settles, we probably lost five hours' worth of work, and we have to reschedule the two days we missed."

Strong winds

Other US TV series were also affected by the fires and bad weather. Police drama Cold Case, which airs on CBS, saw its sets in Simi Valley, north of Los Angeles, blown over by the strong winds.

ABC boardroom drama Big Shots had to scrap shooting in Malibu, while crime series NCIS - which uses stages so close to the fires that the smoke was visible from the set - carried on filming, but lost crew members who had to protect their homes.

Halle Berry
People seem to be safe right now and I think that's most important
Halle Berry

The fires are putting homes at risk in seven counties where up to 300,000 acres (120,000 hectares) have been scorched.

Actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta spoke earlier this week about their fears over the fires.

One of the areas affected is the coastal region around Los Angeles, which is home to many celebrities, including actors Mel Gibson, Barbra Streisand, Richard Gere, Pierce Brosnan, Dick Van Dyke and Ted Danson.

Singers Sting and Olivia Newton-John, director James Cameron and music mogul David Geffen also live locally.

Hollywood star Halle Berry's house in Malibu is just a mile from the encroaching blaze.

"I'm very worried - not only me but all the people there, people I know, my friends, neighbours," she told BBC One's Breakfast, in an interview to be broadcast on Thursday.

Referring to her current trip to London, she said it made her feel "so far away".

"Thank God people are being evacuated - I know they're losing things, material things, but the main thing is the people seem to be safe right now and I think that's most important."

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