March 18, 2018

Man saves rabbit from running into California wildfire

08 December 2017, 10:43 | Elsie Buchanan

Video Thousands forced to flee California wildfires

       Thousands forced to flee California wildfires

- A fast-moving brush fire raced across 150 acres in the Sepulveda Pass Wednesday, destroying at least four homes, prompting a rush-hour closure of the San Diego (405) Freeway and forcing mandatory evacuations.

The Thomas fire, which was the first to ignite, has already burned about 90,000 acres of land and is expected to intensify due to the increasing winds.

The area battled gridlocked heavy traffic as ash and smoke churned over the smoldering hillside.

The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state.

"Very strong winds" blowing from the northeast to the southwest were causing the fire to balloon, he said, warning Angelenos to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice.

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"You look from room to room, you see what makes your house a home, and you realize it's the people and the animals", she said. The 405 freeway was later reopened, transportation officials said.

A cloud of black smoke was creeping across the city with a large, dark column rising into the air, leaving authorities concerned about the poor quality of air that was unbreathable in some places.

"We have a very sophisticated filtration system that was built into the Getty and it literally reverses the flow of air", Hartwig said.

Television footage showed the Bel-Air neighborhood home to celebrities and billionaires, where both entrepreneur Elon Musk and pop superstar Beyonce own property.

Tens of thousands of people fled their homes, running from fires without any idea of when they could return or what they might find.

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All Los Angeles Unified School District schools in the San Fernando Valley, as well as 17 schools on Los Angeles' west side, were shuttered through Friday.

High winds also dissipate fire retardant dropped by aircraft, McLean said. The blaze was accompanied by Santa Ana winds of 25 miles per hour.

Forecasters are calling for another afternoon of gusty winds, which will help fuel the fires on Wednesday. And downtown Los Angeles has received just 0.11 inches of rainfall since the beginning of October, typically the region's west season, according to data from the National Weather Service.

Firefighters were also on the scene of the Rye fire - which had grown to 7,000 acres in the Santa Clarita area - as well as the Creek fire north of downtown Los Angeles that had grown to more than 11,000 acres. California's unusual wildfire activity comes largely thanks to dry conditions in the region and the state's Santa Ana winds.

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