Multiple wildfires continue to race through parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties in Southern California on Wednesday.
The three largest blazes — known as the Thomas Fire, the Creek Fire, and the Rye Fire — are burning around Ventura, Sylmar, and Santa Clarita, scorching thousands of acres and showing no signs of stopping.
Many areas are under mandatory evacuation orders, affecting nearly 200,000 people.
Southern California firefighters have descended on several out-of-control wildfires burning through parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties on Wednesday, including a new one that took off in a wealthy neighborhood on the western edge of Los Angeles.
Here are the numbers as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Los Angeles County officials and Cal Fire:
Thomas Fire: 90,000 acres, 5% containment.
Creek Fire: 11,377 acres, 5% containment, 30-50 structures damaged/destroyed, 2,500 homes threatened.
Rye Fire: 7,000 acres, 10% containment.
Skirball Fire: 475 acres, 5% containment. The 405 Freeway is closed in both directions from the 101 to 10 freeways.
The first and largest blaze, dubbed the Thomas Fire, started Monday night in Ventura County. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had grown to more than 90,000 acres and destroyed at least 150 structures out of at least 12,000 threatened. Local fire authorities warn that those numbers could rise dramatically as winds pick up overnight.
The flames have crossed the 101 Freeway near Solimar Beach in Ventura County and have now reached the Pacific Ocean. Mandatory evacuation orders affect nearly 200,000 people, and authorities have closed the 405 Freeway, causing gridlock throughout the region.
Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, freeing up state funds to help tackle the wildfires.
"This fire is very dangerous and spreading rapidly, but we'll continue to tackle it with all we've got," Brown said. "It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so."
Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen told reporters that the fires' growth had been "absolutely exponential."
Firefighters battle to save a home in the Kagel Canyon area in the San Fernando Valley on Tuesday.
"These are days that break your heart," Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles' mayor, told reporters. "These are also days that show the resilience of our city."
Weather conditions had aligned to make the LA area somewhat of a tinderbox. The region is under a "red flag" advisory because of Santa Ana winds expected to blow through Friday, the National Weather Service said. Such an environment makes containment a much more difficult task for firefighters.
Wind speeds of up to 80 mph were recorded on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times. The NWS said winds of 40 to 60 mph were expected Wednesday night through Friday.
"All that firefighters can do when we have winds like this is get out ahead, evacuate people, and protect structures," Lorenzen said. About 1,700 firefighters were battling the blaze as of Wednesday.
The NWS warned on Monday, hours before the blazes started, that there would "be the potential for very rapid spread of wildfire" and "extreme fire behavior."
Cal Fire, a state fire-safety agency, said on Wednesday that because of the high winds forecasted for Thursday, there would be "no ability to fight" the spread of the fires. Gusts of up to 80 mph are expected throughout the region.
As the Ventura fire raged, another one near the Los Angeles suburb of Sylmar broke out early Tuesday morning and has grown.
Acreage on the Creek Fire was downgraded to 11,377 acres — down from 14,000 — across Sylmar, Lake View Terrace, and Shadow Hills. Dozens of structures had burned, and there was 5% containment as of Wednesday morning, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
克里克大火的面积从14000降至11377英亩，横跨Sylmar、Lake View露台和阴影山。据洛杉矶消防局(Los Angeles Fire Department)的数据，截至周三上午，已有数十座建筑被烧毁，并有5%的建筑被烧毁。
Authorities said a portion of the 210 Freeway would be closed through at least Wednesday morning, and mandatory evacuations remain in effect for canyon and foothill areas in the path of the flames on both sides of the freeway, according to KPCC, a local NPR affiliate.
The Los Angeles Unified School District closed more than 50 schools on Wednesday.
Another blaze, the Rye Fire, broke out near Santa Clarita late Tuesday morning and burned 7,000 acres, was 10% contained as of Wednesday morning. More than 500 firefighters were on the scene.
A new fire, dubbed the Skirball Fire, started early Wednesday morning near the Bel Air section of Los Angeles.
The fire had grown to 475 acres with 5% containment by late Wednesday afternoon, and 200 firefighters were battling the blaze. It prompted the closure of the busy 405 Freeway and threatened the Getty Center art museum.
"You can only imagine the impact this weather is having on the flaming front," David Richardson, the Los Angeles County deputy fire chief, told the LA Times. "This wind is what's being dealt with at this point in time. It makes things very ... difficult because we're chasing the fire — we're chasing the fire trying to get ahead of it, trying to get in front to provide structure defense."
California has been ravaged by wildfires in recent months. In October, a series of fires destroyed communities in Northern California's Napa and Sonoma counties in what is considered the deadliest wildfire in the state's history. Experts said at the time that it would take years for the state to recover.
Here's a map of the location of the current fires:
Here's the location of the active fires around the Los Angeles area.