U.S. wildfires destroys homes, forces thousands to flee


Some 30 structures were destroyed by the Creek Fire as of Tuesday evening, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

"As expected winds have increased dramatically", Cal Fire, the agency responsible for fire protection in the state, said on Twitter.

Those conditions continued through much of Tuesday, as the fire swept through neighborhoods in Ventura, destroying hundreds of homes. The company positioned fix crews and equipment in areas most likely to suffer wind damage.

"We got knots in our stomach coming back up here", Kermode said. More than 300 personnel from the Los Angeles Fire Department are on the scene and are being supported by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, LAPD and the Angeles National Forest and CalFire, officials said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

According to ABC 7 News Los Angeles, the Salvation Army's Ventura chapter is accepting donations of food and water to be distributed at the county's fairgrounds, which is where many evacuees of the fires are now being housed.

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Campus freshman Makani Kirwin said her family in Ojai has opened their home to many evacuated friends.

In issuing his emergency proclamation to secure state and federal disaster resources, Brown cited the destruction, the threats to critical infrastructure and the high winds.

Unfortunately, if the line has been knocked down or become entangled in tree branches, a recloser's burst of electricity can ignite vegetation and start fires.

"The public did an outstanding job heeding our evacuation orders, getting out of these danger zones in a very prompt timely manner", Welsbie said.

The Creek Fire has destroyed 11 homes and injured two firefighters, KTLA reported.

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The video shows the man chasing the rabbit after it ran across the road as flames from the Thomas Fire burn just feet away.

But don't fret: Here are some suggestions on how to help victims of the Southern California fires. It is only 5 percent contained, The Times reported.

The winds, which originate inland, are similar to the Diablo winds that fueled the wildfires in Northern California. Fire officials said the weather was making it hard for aircraft and helicopters to fight the blazes.

Weather officials expect winds to pick up through Thursday, bringing "damaging" gusts of 50 to 70 miles per hour that could knock down trees and power lines, and cause fire to spread rapidly.

A Los Angeles County Fire helicopter flies over the Skirball Fire which began early morning in Bel-Air, Calif., Dec. 6, 2017.

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The flames have swallowed about 80,000 acres (32,000 hectares) in just over a day since the "Thomas" fire, now the state's largest, broke out, leaving at least one person dead in an area about 45 minutes' drive from downtown LA.