Firefighters brace for second week of California wildfires

Firefighters brace for second week of California wildfires

Firefighters brace for second week of California wildfires

Two strike teams from the city of Los Angeles were at the Thomas fire Sunday, and units and firefighters from Beverly Hills, Culver City and Santa Monica were in that joint effort.

Death toll: The death toll from the Thomas Fire stands at one.

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, speaking by phone, said winds have calmed a bit, keeping the fire in the hills outside of the city.

Residents walk amidst the remains of an apartment complex destroyed by the Thomas Fire in a residential neighborhood on December 5, 2017 in Ventura.

"We're far from being out of the woods on any of them", Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), told a news briefing in Ventura. "Have no doubt about that", the governor said on Twitter on Friday.

"[We're] facing a new reality in the state", he said.

"Individuals need to come together to make our communities livable", he said. The winds had weakened slightly Saturday, giving firefighters a much-needed break after days of erratic conditions.

Forecasters said Santa Ana winds that whipped fires across the region last week were expected to die down later Sunday - but not before creating possible gusts topping 50 miles per hour.

The smoke plume from the fires extends more than 1,000 miles into the Pacific, which is equivalent to the distance between NY and Miami. That mutual aid began December 5, a spokeswoman said. Gusts from the Santa Ana winds are forecast to reach 55 miles per hour Sunday. Forecasters predict strong winds could spread the flames again.

Cindy Huge with American Red Cross said about 230 people sheltered at the Ventura County Fairgrounds evacuation site on Friday night.

Low humidity around Southern California has staggered in the teens to single digits.

Hospitals across Southern California have deployed several resources and services to help those affected by multiple wildfires now raging across the state, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Weeks after Wong sifted through the charred remnants of that house, he learned that his other home in Ventura, which he was renting out to members of the military, burned down last week.

"The air quality remains so bad that schools and colleges have canceled classes", Jonathan reports.

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"There's still tons and tons of hot spots out there, " Cal Fire Captani Jon Heggie said early Saturday.

Brown declared a state of emergency in multiple counties last week. Roughly 8,500 firefighters are actively combatting the blazes.

Authorities said 834 structures were destroyed in the blaze and more than 100 were damaged. On one street, all 24 mobile homes were gone, with only hulls of cars and twisted metal remaining.

The Thomas Fire is the biggest in Los Angeles since the Bel-Air fire in 1961 torched scores of homes of the rich and famous.

Helicopters were also dousing homes with water to protect them from the flames, fire officials said. The horses were trapped in a barn that burned to the ground as the owners were evacuated with no warning.

The costs associated with suppressing the fire had already ballooned to $17 million dollars by Saturday morning, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

There were 652 personnel on scene battling the Rye fire Sunday morning.

In total, the fires have displaced almost 90,000 people and destroyed roughly 800 structures, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The fire had posed a threat to the acclaimed Getty Center, a museum in western Los Angeles. Firefighters are making progress, with 93 percent of the blaze contained Monday morning. North of San Diego, the 4,100-acre (1,660 hectare) Lilac Fire was also 90 percent contained on Monday, after destroying 151 structures.

In all, 834 structures have been destroyed and 118 structures are damaged across Southern California.

Throughout the area, officials reported gains in their battle to contain the fires. It's just 10 per cent contained after charring almost 360 square miles (930 square kilometres) of dry brush and timber.

Four civilians had suffered injuries and were taken to local hospitals, though authorities could not confirm the severity of the injuries.

The Liberty fire, located in Riverside County near Murrieta, north of Temecula, has scorched 300 acres of land. "I'm praying for everyone in our community and thankful to all the incredible firefighters", Degeneres said, adding in a later tweet that she was proud to be part of a community where people were helping each other to safety. "I don't know what I'm going to do".

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