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Southern California Braces: Forecasters Say Even Stronger Winds Could Stoke Fires

07 Diciembre 2017

Many Twitter users have been asking their followers whether their flights are likely to be canceled, but it appears that at least for the moment, flights have not been affected by the fires. It is one of two fires in Los Angeles that's destroying homes and forcing residents to find safety.

Erin Mellon, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Water Resources, said that climate change is believed to have influenced the recent cycle of droughts and record rainfall. "I looked to the left and the hillside was on fire; I looked to my right and it was just coming over the ridge, huge flames".

The "Skirball" fire ignited before 5:00 am (1300 GMT) and quickly grew to engulf about 150 acres around the district, home to celebrities and billionaires including SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and pop superstar Beyonce.

Calmer overnight winds Thursday helped crews protect the Ventura County resort town of Ojai (OH'hi), where most of the 7,000 residents are under evacuation orders.

About 500 firefighters were battling the fire that destroyed multiple structures, Ventura County said on its website.

Once again, thousands are fleeing wildfires in California.

The Thomas fire was the largest of a number of wildfires that broke out across Southern California following the onset of the Santa Ana winds.

The so-called Skirball fire forced officials to close down part of Interstate 405 - a key north-south artery and one of the busiest freeways in the country - for a time.

Santa Ana winds, which have exacerbated the fire, will be returning Wednesday night and last through Saturday.

The Thomas Fire has burned a 10-mile path from Santa Paula to the Pacific Ocean, jumping U.S. Highway 101 along the way.

Air tankers that had been grounded much of the week because of high winds flew on Wednesday, dropping flame retardant. Allyn said a few horses suffered burns and were taken to a veterinary facility at the Ventura County Fairgrounds for treatment. You can refer to this road closure map for updates. "This is not 'watch the news and go about your day.' This is pay attention minute by minute ... keep your head on a swivel".

Southern California Braces: Forecasters Say Even Stronger Winds Could Stoke Fires