Thursday, 14 December, 2017

More than 1000 firefighters battle California inferno

More than 1000 firefighters battle California inferno More than 1000 firefighters battle California inferno
Sammy Stanley | 08 December, 2017, 04:42

Angelenos captured the Brentwood or Skirball fire, one of several southern California wildfires, coming dangerously close to the Getty Center in West Los Angeles during the beginning of the Wednesday morning commute.

"The greatest threat is and continues to be the wind", he said, noting that the Santa Ana winds are expected to keep blowing through Friday.

In Los Angeles, the Burning index rating, a daily reading of fire danger, is now at 296, according to fire officials, a record.

The fire was burning in the Hollywood Hills near the exclusive Bel Air neighborhood, home to many celebrities.

For the first time, the Los Angeles Fire Department Thursday plans to deploy drones to help coordinate its battle against a pair of wildfires threatening homes in the city.

Officials said the flames have destroyed almost 200 homes. The other, burning farther north, was being called the Rye fire, near Santa Clarita.

Some 350 firefighters - 52 engines - were on the Skirball Fire, which had burned at least four homes and possibly six by 9:30 a.m.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, freeing state funds and resources to assist.

In Los Angeles, the Creek Fire went from 4,000 acres to 11,000 in a matter of hours Tuesday.

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Fires tore through neighborhoods, razing homes to the ground, reducing them to gray smoldering ashes.

The mandatory evacuations included a mobile home park in Lopez Canyon; Arroyo Street north of the Foothill (210) Freeway; a mobile home park on Maclay Street; and the Pacoima Wash west of Sayre Street.

"The embers from the trees were dropping on our cars", said Mary Robinson, a Ventura resident, who fled Monday night.

They escaped with a few Christmas presents.

Wind gusts blasting Los Angeles-area hilltops reached almost 70 miles per hour, officials said. The fire quickly devoured dry chaparral, as the county has been in a period of moderate drought.

"If a circuit is turned off, then it will not be re-energized until wind speeds have been reduced and the circuit has been assessed, which may include a physical inspection", the statement said.

Earlier a wildfire in a wealthy western area of Los Angeles reached an estate and winery owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

"We're in the middle of a weeklong red flag condition".

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