Higher winds could complicate California wildfire fight

Another fire broke out early on Tuesday morning in Sylmar, closer to Los Angeles. Residents in Sullivan Canyon and Mandeville Canyon were told to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.

Around 27,000 people in southern California have been forced to leave their homes because of wildfires.

Los Angeles commuters had one hell of a drive to work Wednesday morning as a wildfire swept through the Bel-Air district, forcing the closure of at least one stretch of a major freeway.

Mariglo Esherick, 44, contemplates her loss as fire crews pour water on the smoldering embers that are all that remain of her home on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at 763 Via Arroyo in Ventura.

The warning, which indicates extreme fire danger because of gusty winds and low humidity, will be in effect through Saturday in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, where fires have scorched more than 80,000 acres and destroyed many homes. High winds combined with heavy smoke and blowing ash hindered firefighters' ability to contain those fires, including the Skirball Fire.

Dozens of schools across the area canceled classes on Thursday.

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

But even Wednesday, the size of the Ventura fire continued to grow.

The fire erupted before dawn Wednesday on the east side of Sepulveda Pass, which carries heavily traveled Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains on the city's western side.

"We don't have a good feel on which direction this fire is heading", Stewart said.

Stewart says 47 firefighters are on the scene, setting up protection for homes at the top of the steep slopes.

Wind-whipped wildfires are burning extremely dry terrain along the northern and western edges of Los Angeles, and, more extensively, Ventura County, northwest of the city, for a third day. The Skirball Fire was spread across at least 150 acres at last estimate, authorities said.

Winds of those speeds are hard to stop even by an army of firefighters.

The largest and most destructive of the blazes, an 85-square-mile wildfire in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, had almost reached the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday night after starting 30 miles inland a day earlier.

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