Wildfires continue to devastate southern California

Published: 08 December 2017 Image credit: Reuters


At least 5,000 firefighters continue to battle six wildfires raging across California, after more than 100,000 acres and numerous homes and properties have been destroyed.

A woman’s body was found in a burnt-out home in Ventura County, while at least two others have suffered burns, including a firefighter.

More than 200,000 people have been evacuated state-wide, with 20,000 people evacuated from metropolitan Los Angeles and southern California.

Strong Santa Ana winds, blowing in at up to 90km/hr, are helping to fan the uncontrollable blazes, which have seen the wildfire warning level raised to ‘purple’ for the first time in history.

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles said “inroads” had been made by Fire Services, but warned it was still a volatile situation.

"The prediction is, even though this isn't a time of calm winds, that we will continue to get gusts through Saturday that will be erratic and unpredictable,” he said.

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

Fires are closing in on the celebrity-filled area of Bel-Air, where multi-million dollar mansions and properties are under threat.

The famed J Paul Getty Centre, home to priceless art pieces by artists such as van Gogh and Rembrandt, has chosen to keep the pieces in the gallery, confident in their protection measures.

These fires come less than two months after the tragic October fires which saw 17 people lose their lives.