Southern California wildfires force mass evacuations around Los Angeles


Santa Ana winds feed the dangerous fires in California

Jonathan Hunt reports from Santa Paula, CA.

The relentless wind whipped devastating forest fires in Southern California are expected to worsen Thursday, as dangerous winds forecast to fan the flames in different directions, and the power of new evacuations around the second-largest city in the U.S.

Winds on Thursday topped 50 km / h already in the greater Los Angeles area, keeping the residents about the region on their guard as there are more than 200,000 people have been forced from their homes and almost 200 homes and buildings have been destroyed since the fire broke at the end of the Sunday.

“We are in the beginning of a prolonged wind event,” Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), told the Los Angeles Times. “There will be no ability to fight fire in these kinds of winds.”

A photo taken from the International Space Station and moved on social media by astronaut Randy Bresnik shows smoke from a wildfire burning in Southern California, V. S., 6 December 2017


The Skirball Fire, which broke out on Wednesday morning, has burned approximately 500 acres so far in the neighborhood of large estates in the exclusive neighborhood of Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles and is just 5 percent contained.


A helicopter drops water on hotspots left by the Skirball fire in the neighbourhood of the Bel Air district on the west side of Los Angeles, California, USA, 6 December 2017.

(REUTERS/Andrew Cullen)

Firefighters went to save millions of dollars of homes in the path of the fire while trying to order the evacuation of the residents.

“We are in the beginning of a long term wind event. There Is no ability to fight fire in these kinds of winds.”

– Ken Pimlott, director of Cal Fire

“These are the days that break your heart,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a press conference. “These are also days that show the resilience of our city.”

No deaths or civilian injuries have been reported since the storm began Sunday, according to Reuters. Three firefighters were injured and in the hospital in stable condition as a result of the Skirball Fire, the Los Angeles Fire department said.

The Getty Center and the nearby Center Skirball, both on the west side of the 405 freeway across from the blaze and not to be threatened. Both facilities were closed for the day and will remain closed on Thursday, FOX 11 reported. Santa Monica College and all schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district were also closed on Thursday, FOX 11 said.


Fifty-the Los Angeles Unified School District schools and 40 charter schools were also closed citywide in response to the Skirball Fire, and other signs in the area, district officials said.

The officials warned the color-coded system shows the expected strength of the Santa Ana winds on Thursday, driving the region’s fierce forest fire has reached uncharted territory, pushing past the red , which means “high” in the color purple that means “extreme.”

#SantaAnaWinds will continue to elevate fire danger in Southern CA, with the upcoming winds reaching 80 miles per hour on Thursday. A new burn will have extreme levels of brand growth potential. Now prepared and ready to GO! More information about evacuation preparation:

— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) December 6, 2017

“We’re talking winds that surface that may be 80 km per hour,” Pimlott said. “This will be wind that there is no ability to fight the fire.”

That fierce wind, it can instantly display a small fire in a large, or carry embers that ignite new fires miles away.


Devastating fires sweep across southern California

Millions of mobile phones buzzed loudly Tuesday night from San Diego to Santa Barbara, with a sound that usually means that there is an Amber Alert, but this time was a rare weather warning for strong winds create extreme fire danger.

Officials hope that electronic printing will keep for the whole region to be alert and keep the death toll of the week to burn to zero.

Motorists on Highway 101, watch flames of the Thomas fire jumped the roadway north of Ventura, California, on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)


Crystal Shore looking over the wildfire damaged neighbors home along the Via San Anselmo in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Melissa Rosenzweig, 47, had just returned home Tuesday after evacuating from her Ventura home, which has been spared, so far away, while most on her street had burned in the largest and most destructive of the regions of burning, the Thomas Brand. She and her husband to evacuate again, in the hope that they will get lucky twice for the new wind to arrive.

“Ah, yes, I’m still scared,” Rosenzweig told the Associated Press. “We are very grateful, but I know that we are not out of the woods.”

The employees of the Los Angeles Dept. Water and Power runs past a house destroyed by a wildfire along the Via San Anselmo in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

In what could be an early sign of 140 square kilometers, fire, new life, a few thousands of new evacuations were ordered late Tuesday night in Ojai, a city of artists and resorts.

The 90,000-acre fire had been crawling already there, sweeping through mountain ranges and canyons to the sea, but an increase in the winds pushed him close enough for many more to flee.

The Thomas Brand has been killed and more than two dozen horses in a barn and had destroyed at least 150 structures, a number that is expected to be much larger if the firefighters are able to assess losses.

Motorists on Highway 101, watch flames of the Thomas fire jumped the roadway north of Ventura, California, on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Air tankers which grounded much of the week due to strong wind flew in on Wednesday, dropping fire retardant. Fire brigade rushed to the attack the fires before the winds picked up again.

“In fact, We are in an urban gunfight in Ventura, where as you can keep the house from burning, you may be able to slow the fire down,” said Tim Chavez, a fire behavior specialist for the fire. “But that’s about it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @travfed

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