Multiple wildfires destroy homes in Los Angeles County

10 December, 2017, 03:15 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • A Los Angeles County helicopter flies over the 'Skirball Fire,' which began early Thursday in Bel-Air Calif. Several fires have broken out north of Los Angeles

By late afternoon, firefighters said they had controlled the fire's advance.

They were expected to gust as high as 80 miles per hour (about 130 kph) overnight into Thursday, possibly creating unprecedented fire danger.

The forecast for Thursday is purple.

"We're basically in an urban firefight in Ventura, where if you can keep that house from burning, you might be able to slow the fire down", said Tim Chavez, a fire behavior specialist at the blaze. The Skirball Fire is closing in on heavily populated areas of Los Angeles, ABC News reported.

Fires are not typical in Southern California at this time of year but can break out when dry vegetation and too little rain combine with the Santa Ana winds.

The massive Thomas Fire that has been roaring through Ventura County north of Los Angeles grew overnight thanks to increasing winds and forced the temporary closure of the 101 Freeway early this morning between the coastal towns of Carpinteria and Ventura.


Containment of the Skirball Fire in the Sepulveda Pass and Bel-Air increased Friday to 30 percent - up from 20 - and some evacuees were back home, now that evacuation orders were partially lifted.

"Heck yeah I'm still anxious", Rosenzweig said. "They're not just horses - they're horses that we know, that we've become close to". An estimated 200,000 residents had been ordered to leave the area as thousands of firefighters battled several wildfires driven by powerful desert winds. The exception to the evacuation order was the Bel- Air Crest housing development, which was not threatened, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. According to Cal Fire, five homes and 10 outbuildings have been destroyed.

Flames burned a wine storage shed at media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 16-acre (6.5-hectare) Moraga Vineyards estate and appeared to have damaged about 7 acres (2.8 hectares) of vines, a spokeswoman said. Many schools across Los Angeles were closed because of poor air quality and classes were cancelled at 265 schools Thursday.

Hundreds of homes are feared to have been destroyed in southern California by wildfires that have left at least two people injured, including one critically, and triggered a mass evacuation.

Air tankers that had been grounded much of the week because of high winds flew on Wednesday, dropping flame retardant.

Almost 2,000 firefighters were still assigned to the fire Saturday.

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