Southern California fires force 200000 people to flee

Weather aides firefighters as California fires continue to grow

Weather aides firefighters as California fires continue to grow

The blaze, dubbed the Thomas Fire, broke out on Monday evening in the foothills above Ventura.

It has burned over the edges of the busiest highway of the country, known as Interstate 405 freeway that carry about 400,000 vehicles every day, where the lanes of northbound were closed for more of the day and travellers drove their vehicles through the flurry of ash along with the flames growing in the horizon. Warmer temperatures dry out vegetation, making them easier to burn, and scientists say vulnerable regions like California should expect a spike in wildfires in the coming decades as temperatures continue to rise.

"I don't want to use the word confident", he said.

Some ranchers posted urgent pleas on Twitter for help moving horses, including Rawhide Ranch, well-known for running riding camps for children.

Satellite imagery from the wildfires burning in Southern California shows where the new hot spots are - the danger zones amid an expected resurgence of Santa Ana winds.

Winds with hurricane-force gusts of up to 130 kilometres per hour were fuelling the blazes, creating apocalyptic scenes of hillsides engulfed in billowing smoke and towering plumes of flame.

At the Getty, spokesman Ron Hartwig said they "feel confident we've done everything to protect the Getty and the art collection here".

Fires flared up Thursday along the highway, forcing an evacuation of dozens of homes at Faria Beach.

Police knocked on doors and used loudspeakers to make sure everybody had left their homes. "The fire is here, you need to leave".

"This morning there was a wall of fire back right over here", he said.

"All I could think about was the horses, the horses, the horses".

At an afternoon press conference, city officials sounded a more optimistic note than recent days, saying that the majority of residents evacuated from homes near the three fires would be soon allowed home.

All Los Angeles Unified School District schools in the San Fernando Valley and some on the Westside of Los Angeles - a total of 265 district schools and charter schools - will be closed Thursday and Friday, district officials said.

More than 100 firetrucks from several states had parked at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, firefighters standing or sitting aside their equipment as they took breaks from battling fires in nearby Ojai the night before, winds whipping in off the ocean as they rested.

The Thomas Fire, the largest of the blazes, is burning through Ventura County towards Los Angeles and is now more than twice the size of Washington DC and showing few signs of slowing. "Yesterday you couldn't see the street".

Citywide, about 600 officers were assigned to coordinate security and various "firefighting events, " Beck said.

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