Wildfires continue to devastate southern California

Weather aides firefighters as California fires continue to grow

Wildfires continue to devastate southern California

The Southern California wildfires spreading through Ventura and Los Angeles counties are among the devastating wildfires residential communities have seen in the decades since developers have expanded further and further onto land prone to natural disaster.

Santa Ana winds continued to hamper the firefighting effort, with gusts expected to reach up to 80 miles per hour at their peak.

Authorities are dealing with four major fires, as well as a smaller one in San Bernardino, which is 100 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Ventura County authorities said air pollution measures in the Ojai Valley were "off the charts".

Fire officials gave an updated estimate of the Creek Fire's size Thursday morning, confirming estimates from Wednesday night that the fire was at 12,605 acres.

The Philippine posts in the U.S. will help the affected Filipinos, if any, "in any way we can", he said, adding that the consulate in Los Angeles has gotten in touch with some of the registered Filipino Americans in their jurisdiction. Propane tanks under several houses exploded from the heat, sounding like bombs, according to a Reuters photographer at the scene.

"These conditions, combined with the heat that is now. coming to the area, the dryness, the amount of vegetation in some of the areas still that have not burned, makes this still a very threatening environment", he said.

Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday that the California National Guard has activated 65 members to provide security for the wildfires.

"There will be no ability to fight fire in these kinds of winds", Pimlott said.

Thousands of residents were under evacuation order.

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All three fires were driven by the strongest seasonal Santa Ana winds so far this year.

"Prepare now to ensure if evacuated you and your family are ready to GO!"

Mr Murdoch, who owns British newspapers The Sun and The Times, lives in a mansion on his $30 million Moraga Vineyards estate, dubbed "the only commercial vineyard in Los Angeles".

Besides Bel Air, affluent Los Angeles neighborhoods between Mulholland Drive to the north and Sunset Boulevard to the south were part of the evacuation zone.

Los Angeles Police Cmdr.

Officials said that the body of a woman had been found in a burnt-out area and two people suffered burns near San Diego.

In the coastal city of Ventura, resident Maurice Shimabuku said his friends had told him to evacuate but he was staying put for now, feeling safe because he was near the Pacific Ocean.

The Getty Center and the nearby Skirball Center, both on the west side of the freeway, did not appear to be threatened, though both remained closed Thursday.

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