Southern California wildfires force mass evacuations in Los Angeles

Carla Harmon
December 7, 2017

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, it is 0% contained, .

Almost 200,000 people have been told to evacuate.

Wind speeds could increase in the coming days, reaching as much as 60 miles per hour through Thursday, officials said.

Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, says the wind wildfire threat to Southern California for Thursday is purple.

Wildfires continued raging across Southern California on Wednesday, with a new blaze that ignited in the early morning threatening one of the ritziest parts of Los Angeles.

The fires have have now crossed over the main coastal highway and reached the Pacific Ocean, on America's West Coast. No major institution so far has said it has incurred damage, but, as of midday, more than 150 buildings and homes have been destroyed in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, and almost 12,000 more buildings are potentially threatened by four fires threatening various areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Each of the fires was at just 5 percent containment or below as of Wednesday afternoon.

Air tankers that were grounded most of Tuesday because of high winds went up yesterday, dropping flame retardant.

Heavy Santa Ana winds blamed for spreading the infernos still threaten to multiply the destruction. And by midmorning, it had already consumed a half-dozen mansions and 150 acres of some of L.A.'s most expensive and desirable properties, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The University of California, Los Angeles, has canceled classes for the rest of the day due to hard traffic problems stemming from a wildfire.

Meanwhile in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the so-called Creek Fire blackened more than 11,000 acres.

The fire erupted before dawn Wednesday on the east side of Sepulveda Pass, which carries heavily traveled Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains on the city's western side.

Wind-whipped wildfires are burning extremely dry terrain along the northern and western edges of Los Angeles, and, more extensively, Ventura County, northwest of the city, for a third day. Firefighters rushed to attack the fires before winds picked up again.

Cal Fire estimates that hundreds of structures, including 200 homes, have been destroyed, and that as many as 200,000 people are under evacuation orders.

The fire fight improved as winds calmed, allowing officials to do battle in the air and on the ground when the fire was moving slower.

The latest estimate is that they are 140 square miles, but there are warnings that worse is yet to come.

Other reports by iNewsToday