Relentless Santa Ana winds continue to fan devastating California wildfires

Federico Mansilla
Diciembre 7, 2017

Dozens of schools were also closed in neighboring Ventura County, where the largest of the area blazes, the Thomas Fire, has charred more than 95,000 acres.

Q: How do high winds affect the firefight?

As neighborhoods turned into scenes of vast ruin and freeways closed down, California got a frightening replay of the October infernos in Wine Country that killed 44 people, destroyed 8,900 structures and, like the Thomas Fire, were driven by nighttime windstorms that blasted flames from more rugged areas into communities built along the edge of the wildland.

Located 60 miles (97km) northwest of Los Angeles in Ventura County that fire spread from 500 acres Monday night to 50,000 acres the following morning.

Police knocked on doors and used loudspeakers to make sure everybody had left their mansions.

"We are in the beginning of a protracted wind event", said Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. He put his camera and his dogs in his vintage burgundy auto and left the home where he has lived for several years, its fate uncertain. The fire broke out in the Rye Canyon Loop and grew to 5,000 acres by Tuesday afternoon.

Among those evacuated was model Chrissy Teigen, wife of singer John Legend. "We've put out requests to have people come to Berkeley for the Oakland-Berkeley hills fire".

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"We're full, we've taken in over 450 horses and four goats", Heidi Allyn, a stable assistant at the sprawling Los Angeles Equestrian Center, said Wednesday.

The Skirball Fire, which erupted early on Wednesday had burned about 200 hectares near large estates in the Bel-Air neighbourhood of Los Angeles, was only 5 per cent contained. At 7:30am, authorities ordered residents living south of Mulholland Drive, east of the 405, north of Sunset Boulevard, and west of Roscomare Road to evacuate their homes, RT reported.

The edges of both Los Angeles and Ventura are dotted with horse-keeping properties, and when flames roared in people barely had time to get their animals to their own evacuation centers. Again, if you live in or around the affected areas, the Humane Society of Ventura County is a great option to donate human food for volunteers, pet food for animals, or money to keep things running smoothly.

"We're really just trying to catch it around the edges and just pinching it off as quickly as we possibly can", Ventura County firefighter Jason Hodge told the Los Angeles Times.

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

A man rescued a wild rabbit from the raging wildfires on the side of a California highway on Wednesday evening and the daring rescue was caught on video.

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