California Wildfires Destroy At Least 200 Homes

Irfan Khan—LA Times via Getty Images

Irfan Khan—LA Times via Getty Images

About 80 miles north of LA there is a fast-moving wildfire.

Fanned by gusts of wind of up to 70mph, the fire spread rapidly, leading to the evacuation of at least 1,000 homes across the county.

The image below is from the USDA Forest Service and Predictive Services website called the Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index that categorizes the threat levels in our region.

STEPHANIE O'NEILL, BYLINE: Hey, Kelly. Stick with me. You have to read that book when you're 17, or else it's unbearably annoying, what with Holden's angst-indulgence walkabout.

As many as 180,000 Southern California Edison customers in Ventura County and some 83,000 in Santa Barbara County lost power at some point Monday night, the company reported.

The winds were part of the season's "strongest and longest" Santa Ana event.

The bush fire that has been named as Thomas Fire has been strengthened by the blowing winds whose speed has gone as high as 40 to 60 miles per hour.

Conditions are "not going to get any better anytime soon, and the fire is out of control", Mr. Buschow said. The Tubbs and Nuns fires, both in October and both in Sonoma County, destroyed almost 7,000 structures and caused 24 deaths. The shelter is also available for all types of animals and is located at 10 West Harbor Avenue in Ventura.

"We're really just trying to catch it around the edges and just pinching it off as quickly as we possibly can", Ventura County firefighter Jason Hodge told the Los Angeles Times.

O'NEILL: Well, people are pretty darn nervous.

"They've died down slightly, but they're going to increase again (Tuesday) evening, so it's kind of like a seesaw", McLean said. The college issued a fire alert Monday around 8 p.m. and evacuated all students to nearby homes as a precaution. "The rain added some grasses and allowed the fire to travel much quicker to the more dense areas of brush".

O'NEILL: Some residents, though, have stayed. The fire injured two people, one critically, and forced closure of northbound Interstate 215, said Eric Sherwin, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

"I just watched it burn, burn, burn", he said. I locked them in the house today. The fire broke out in the Rye Canyon Loop and grew to 5,000 acres by Tuesday afternoon.

The fire is currently estimated at 50,500 acres (20,437 hectares) without containment.

On Tuesday, two dangerous fires swept through southern California, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate.

"Watching through the windows, there was a lot of smoke", said Berry, who fled his home immediately to a safe area.

After a slowdown Tuesday night, the Santa Ana winds are expected to pick back up Wednesday into Thursday, which could complicate firefighting efforts.

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