Tags: southern | california | wildfires | close | interstate

Southern California Wildfires Threaten Bel-Air, Close Interstate

Image: Southern California Wildfires Threaten Bel-Air, Close Interstate
Vehicles pass beside a wall of flames on the 101 highway as it reaches the coast during the Thomas wildfire near Ventura, California, on Dec. 6, 2017. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 Dec 2017 02:30 PM

A number of wildfires continued to burn in Southern California on Wednesday, including one fire in Los Angeles that has destroyed homes in Bel-Air and shut down northbound Interstate 405 near the Getty Center, causing worse traffic tie-ups than usual in that area.

The largest fire started Monday in Ventura County northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Known as the Thomas Fire, it burned 65,000 acres by Wednesday morning, including hundreds of homes, The Washington Post reported.

The Los Angeles Times reported in an update that 50,000 people had evacuated the area by Wednesday as the fire spread to the Pacific Ocean and jumped across the 101 freeway into Solimar Beach.

Two smaller fires broke out Tuesday in Los Angeles County, and by Wednesday a brush fire known as the Skirball Fire spread to Bel-Air and led to Interstate 405’s closing, which the California Highway Patrol said was “for an unknown duration,” the Post reported.

Thousands of people have lost power because of the fires, and California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in both Los Angeles and Ventura counties, telling residents to “stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so.”

The area is dealing with unusually strong Santa Ana winds and dry conditions — there hasn’t been significant rain in several months in Southern California. Conditions are expected to remain conducive toward further wildfire activity through at least Thursday, the Post reported.

No deaths related to the fires have yet been reported; three Los Angeles firefighters hospitalized with injuries from the fire were reported to be in stable condition Wednesday, according to The Washington Post.

Residents of Los Angeles and areas around it including the San Fernando Valley who are not currently experiencing fires are experiencing heavy smoke and are advised to limit time outdoors.

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A number of wildfires continued to burn in Southern California on Wednesday, including one fire in Los Angeles that has destroyed homes in Bel-Air and shut down northbound Interstate 405 near the Getty Center, causing worse traffic tie-ups than usual in that area.
southern, california, wildfires, close, interstate
299
2017-30-06
Wednesday, 06 Dec 2017 02:30 PM
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