Raked by ferocious Santa Ana winds, explosive wildfires northwest of Los Angeles and in the city's foothills burned a psychiatric hospital and scores of homes and other structures Tuesday and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.AP Photo/Jae C. HongIt was not a normal commute for drivers on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles on Wednesday morning. The fire, which caused Gov. Firefighters battled to save multimillion-dollar homes in the path of the flames.
"This just shows us that there is no fire season anymore", McLean said.
Chef and restaurateur José Andrés, whose World Central Kitchen organized chef volunteers and donations to serve more than 3 million meals to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, in a tweet indicated that his crew was on the way to Los Angeles to work with the Red Cross to feed those displaced by fire.
The largest and most destructive of the fires, an 85-square-mile (220-sq. kilometer) wildfire in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, had almost reached the Pacific on Tuesday night after starting 30 miles (48 kilometers) inland a day earlier. Firefighters were struggling to keep flames away from the bucolic Ojai Valley, according to state fire officials.
Additional evacuations were called for late Wednesday in the Ventura area, where 50,000 people had already fled their homes over the last three days.
Q: How do high winds affect the firefight? The Creek Fire is burning across about 11,400 acres and has zero percent containment, according to Berkeley Fire Department spokesperson Keith May.
One of the more hopeful areas was Santa Clarita, north of the city, where the Rye fire had briefly shut down Interstate 5 on Wednesday. The Times reported that "firefighters were making significant gains" by the evening.
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According to the National Weather Service, the wildfires are expected to exacerbate overnight, as winds reach speeds of 65 miles per hour.
The winds, which originate inland, are similar to the Diablo winds that fueled the wildfires in Northern California.
Residents living west of I-405 should brace for evacuations, in case flames jump the freeway, officials said earlier on Wednseday.
"Based on the apparent location of the origin of both the Thomas fire in the Ventura and Santa Barbara area and the Creek Fire in Sylmar, and the performance of SCE's system, SCE has no indication that the company's facilities were a source of these fires", it said in a press release.
Melissa Rosenzweig, 47, was briefly back home Wednesday after evacuating from her Ventura house, which has been spared so far while most on her street had burned in the largest and most destructive of the region's fires.
"One of the downsides living in California", he said of the wildfire danger.