A wildfire burning out of control near homes in Southern California forced evacuations Thursday amid dangerously dry conditions.

The Colby fire blew up shortly before 6 a.m. in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles.

It had burned at least 200 acres just north of a neighborhood abutting a canyon in the Angeles National Forest north of the city of Glendora, CBS News reported.

At least four structures were seen engulfed in flames, Los Angeles TV station KABC reported.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for several neighborhoods.

Glendora police have taken three people into custody in connection to the wildfire, although they stressed they are not suspects, investigators told KABC.

California is in the middle of a severe drought, and the state's notorious Santa Ana winds picked up at daybreak Thursday, pushing the flames downslope out of the mountains and into communities below, according to CBS.