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UCLA cancels game vs. Montana due to wildfire concerns

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    UCLA canceled its basketball game against Montana on Wednesday night due to wildfires a few miles from campus.

    “The health and safety of student-athletes, staff and fans is our top priority,” the university said in a statement. “Due to concerns stemming from area wildfires, tonight’s men’s basketball game vs. Montana has been canceled. All other team workouts and practices scheduled for today also have been canceled.”

    Thousands of acres have been scorched in Southern California, leading to massive evacuations this week. The closet fire to the UCLA campus blazed less than five miles away.

    Homes were burning in Los Angeles’ Bel-Air neighborhood Wednesday morning as a wildfire prompted closure of the 405 Freeway and triggered mandatory evacuations in an area of multimillion-dollar residences, according to the Los Angeles Times. By 11 a.m. local time, the fire being driven by 25-mph winds scorched 150 acres and destroyed homes.

    The Bruins were scheduled to take on Montana at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA (7-1) will next travel to play Michigan in Ann Arbor on Saturday.

    The UCLA football team planned an early morning football practice in preparation for the Cactus Bowl against Kansas State on Dec. 26 in Phoenix. That practice is now tentatively scheduled for Thursday morning.

    The Los Angeles Rams were unable to practice due to poor air quality as another far larger fire remained active about 20 miles west of the team’s training facility in Thousand Oaks, according to USA Today.

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