Ventura County wildfire doubles in size in 24 hours
On ” America’s Newsroom,’ U. S. Forest Service Director of Fire and Aviation Management Robert Baird speaks out about the problems that are presented by the wind.
President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration Friday and ordered federal aid to California residents under the pressure of a series of forest fires have been urged to wear face masks in the midst of deteriorating weather conditions.
Friday morning, the Thomas brand – the largest and most devastating in the state – has grown to 132,000 acres with 10 percent containment. The fire, which began Monday, has destroyed 430 buildings and reduced the quality of the air in a region north of Los Angeles.
“Dangerous is the worst ranking that the quality of the air,” Polly Baldwin, medical director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, said Thursday night during a packed town hall meeting in the Carpinteria High School gym.
She urged the local population to no face masks outside when the air quality in the city continues to deteriorate. Residents of Carpinteria, a oceanside town near Santa Barbara, out of fear that they could be next on the path of the Thomas fire, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Santa Barbara County fire officials said the fire has not yet reached county lines, but residents should be prepared, according to the newspaper.
Dec. 8, 2017: Flames consume a tree as the Lilac fire is lit in Bonsall, Calif.
The National Weather Service on Thursday also a red-flag warning through the weekend in much of Southern California, which indicates a “critical” fire conditions exist in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
Fire officials warned that strong winds can help to fan the dangerous flames in a glow that develops and forecasters said wind gusts of between 40 and 60 km per hour are expected Friday, Fox 11 reported.
Further to the south in San Diego County, teaching at multiple schools were canceled Friday after a fire broke out a day earlier amid hot, dry and windy conditions in the region.
As a result of the weather conditions, retirement communities built on golf courses, semi-rural race horse stables and other usually serene sites were overrun by flames. The California Horse Racing Board said Friday that about 25 race horses were killed.
Three people were burned while trying to escape the fast-moving flames, said Captain Nick Schuler of the California Department of Forestry and fire protection. Two firefighters also suffered minor injuries battling the blaze, Cal Fire San Diego added.
Crews made enough progress in fighting large fires in Los Angeles to lift most evacuation orders Thursday, according to The Associated Press.
In the meantime the fire north of San Diego, driven by the winds above 35 km / h, levelled rows of caravans in a retirement community, leaving charred and mangled metal in its wake.
Dec. 7, 2017: Fire personnel drive along West Lilac Road as well as the Lilac Fire is lit in the near Bonsall, Calif., in San Diego County.
(AP/The San Diego Union-Tribune)
It was not immediately known what led to the fire in addition to the State Highway 76, but strong winds carried it across six lanes to the other side.
Evacuations were ordered near the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base and schools, and casinos were used as a shelter.
Cynthia Olvera, 20, took shelter at Fallbrook high School.
She had on her Bonsall at home with her younger sister and cousin when her father called from the family farm to say that the fire reached the gates of their sprawling property.
After starting to drive away, the family turned to in order to recover a forgotten personal documents — but it was too late. The trees were on fire and the flames were within 10 metres of the house.
“I had not imagined it would move so fast,” she told The Associated Press.
As the flames approached the elite of San Luis Rey Downs training facility for thoroughbreds, many of the more than 450 horses were cut loose in order to avoid that they are caught in their barns as barns caught fire, said Mac McBride, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
Dec. 7, 2017: A fireman fights a forest fire at Faria State Beach in Ventura, California.
Herds of horses drove past flaming palm trees in their chaotic flight of a normally idyllic place. Not all survived.
Horse trainer Scott Hansen said that he knows that some of his 30 horses at the facility died.
“I don’t know how much his life is, and how many are dead,” he said. “I think I will have to find out in the morning.”
All of Friday’s races at Los Alamitos race course were cancelled, as the racing community mourned.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.