Wildfires Roar Through Southern California
Deadly wildfires engulfed thousands acres of land in Southern California, causing massive evacuations of tens of thousands of people, loss of property, and destruction of homes and buildings.
The largest blaze known as Thomas fire, started in Ventura County, spread rapidly on Monday evening. The inferno enveloped more than 90,000 acres, destroying more than 150 homes and threatening thousands more in Ventura, about 50 miles (80 km) north-west of Los Angeles. The disaster also caused a power outage in the area, affecting 186,000 residents.
Three more wildfires began on Tuesday. One was in Los Angeles County which quickly grew to cover more than 11,000 acres and destroyed more than 30 structures. A blaze in San Bernardino County burned 100 acres of vegetation. And a fourth, near Santa Clarita, ravaged through at least 5,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of a trailer park and several schools.
Wildfires Enters Los Angeles
The wildfires have entered the heart of Los Angeles. Authorities identified three major wildfire outbreaks in Los Angeles. One was the Skirball fire, which erupted early on Wednesday, burning about 500 acres near large estates in Bel-Air. Another fire, known as the Rye, threatened more than 5,000 homes and structures north-west of Los Angeles.
In the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles, the Creek fire destroyed at least 30 homes, blackened more than 12,000 acres and forced the evacuation of 2,500 homes and a convalescent centre. About 800 firefighters and 200 police officers were responding to the fire, named the Creek Fire, officials said.
An “extreme fire danger” warning was raised across the city, and LA’s mayor declared a local state of emergency on Wednesday morning. With winds forecast to reach 80mph, officials have warned the worst could be yet to come, thus reminding residents to be vigilant at all times. An alert sent by the countrywide emergency system in Los Angeles said: “Strong winds overnight creating extreme fire danger.”
Record of Wildfires
Wildfires are not new in California. The state experienced some of its most destructive fires ever this year. In October, deadly wildfires ravaged the northern part of California, killing at least twenty-six people and causing mass evacuations. At least seventeen wildfires swept through the northern part of the state. The state’s famous wine country – Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties were severely burned. The disaster left a trail of destruction, and at least 1,500 properties were damaged.