Almost 30 horses burned by California wildfire

Henrietta Brewer
December 8, 2017

The national weather service was predicting near hurricane-force winds for Thursday morning in the mountains and canyons of Ventura County and northwest Los Angeles County - winds that make for rapid, unpredictable fire spreading, officials said.

Out-of-control wildfires are raging in and near Los Angeles. More than 125 firefighters have been on the scene, and water-dropping helicopters are reportedly being used to quench the flames.

A woman was found dead in a wrecked auto in an evacuation zone near the city of Santa Paula, where the Ventura County blaze began Monday night, but officials could not immediately say whether the accident was fire-related.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has declared a state of emergency, with the so-called Skirball blaze forcing evacuations of thousands of residents in the exclusive enclave.

Terrazas likened the blaze to the 1961 Bel Air Fire, which destroyed almost 500 homes, including several belonging to Hollywood celebrities.

The Skirball Fire is burning in the exclusive Bel Air community, where multimillion-dollar houses give the rich and famous sweeping views.

After the fire began, the northbound lanes of the 405 Freeway were closed at Bel Air Crest Road all the way back to Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

US President Donald Trump tweeted a message of "thoughts and prayers" to California as it nears the end of its deadliest year ever for wildfires.

Just north in Ventura County the "Thomas" blaze continued unabated, after erupting in the hills of oak and scrub north of Santa Paula, powered by strong seasonal guests known as Santa Ana winds.

"Anyone in your homes still, you need to leave now", a California Highway Patrol officer said through a loudspeaker while driving down a smoke-shrouded street. These wind-driven fires are not expected to let up for a few days, he said. "Right now we're experiencing favorable wind conditions. but we are anticipating a continuation of the red flag conditions throughout the week, at least until Friday".

"Air filtration systems are protecting the galleries from smoke", the museum tweeted. While it's nowhere big as the Thomas Fire, the Lilac Fire 45 miles north of San Diego grew exponentially Thursday, from 100 acres to 3,000 in just six hours. More than 50 public schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District were also shuttered.

State investigators are still trying to determine whether power lines and equipment owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. played a role in October's deadly Wine Country wildfires.

So far, no deaths had been reported as a result of the fires.

"We've asked for more than we did in the North Bay fires because we have more fire burning", he said. "Maybe it means everybody who evacuated was prepared".

Other reports by iNewsToday