Science

California wildfires force people to leave their homes

California wildfires force people to leave their homes”

Ventura County's Thomas Fire started Monday night and grew exponentially to almost 50,000 acres, resulting in evacuation of at least 27,000 people.

In the hours before sunrise, wildfire embers fueled by strong Santa Ana winds shot up into the air above traffic, creating a fiery hellscape that heated drivers' windows and temporarily shut down the interstate.

The so-called Skirball Fire was reported before 5 a.m. on Wednesday in Bel-Air, and resulted in the complete closure of the 405 freeway, which is now partially reopened.

In response to the fires, Gov.

Flames don't discriminate. Many fire fighters are among the California residents losing their homes and being forced to evacuate. The company positioned fix crews and equipment in areas most likely to suffer wind damage.

"We are in the beginning of a protracted wind event", said Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency, has caused mass evacuations and destroyed buildings including a psychiatric hospital in the city of Ventura, 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

A firefighter was injured when he was struck by a vehicle during the response to the blaze, said the Ventura County Fire Department. Authorities say 12,000 structures in the region are threatened and more than 200,000 people are under evacuation orders.

The high Santa Ana winds are predicted to last through the week, and are blowing embers across the landscape in all directions.

In what may have been an early sign of the 140-square-mile fire getting new life, several thousand new evacuations were ordered Wednesday night in Ojai, a town of artists and resorts. And in northern Los Angeles, the Creek Fire has consumed 11,000 acres.

"This fire is very unsafe and spreading rapidly, but we'll continue to attack it with all we've got", Brown said.

Flames burned a wine storage shed at media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 16-acre (6.5-hectare) Moraga Vineyards estate and appeared to have damaged about 7 acres (2.8 hectares) of vines, a spokeswoman said.

The video shows the man chasing the rabbit after it ran across the road as flames from the Thomas Fire burn just feet away. The fire was five percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon.

Once again, thousands are fleeing wildfires in California. Fire officials said the weather was making it hard for aircraft and helicopters to fight the blazes.

For instance, a fundraiser for the biggest of the fires, the Thomas fire, has been established by a combination of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services, the United Way, the Red Cross, and it's now accepting donations.



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