Southern California wildfires burn with little containment as conditions worsen

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Satellite imagery from the wildfires burning in Southern California shows where the new hot spots are - the danger zones amid an expected resurgence of Santa Ana winds. Wind gusts in Los Angeles and Ventura counties will clock up to 60 miles per hour by late Thursday, some higher in mountain areas. Much of Southern California is also experiencing humidity levels in the teens or even single digits. The four-day old Thomas Fire had burned 115,000 acres and destroyed 439 buildings, damaging 85 others. The Skirball fire is the smallest of the wildfires now, but its threat to heavily populated areas of Los Angeles has drawn widespread attention.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading.

Dozens of schools were closed Wednesday, as was Santa Monica College. At least 265 schools have been closed.

The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state.

It had swelled to over 108,000 acres by midnight local time on Thursday, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, which is comprised of nine government agencies, among them the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service and United States Fire Administration.

The "Skirball" fire ignited Wednesday morning and began to sweep through Bel Air, home to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, pop superstar Beyonce and other celebrities.

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And these fires are growing fast.

About 100 officers from the Los Angeles Police Department were sent to the neighborhood to handle evacuation orders, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said over 230,000 people have been forced to evacuate in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The horses were trapped in a barn that burned to the ground as the owners were evacuated with no warning.

The fire is threatening the Getty Center, a museum in western Los Angeles. As of early Thursday, firefighters had managed to keep it from breaching containment lines.

Still, said Hartwig, "this is the single best place for any art collection to be in the midst of a fire disaster like this".

Officials got a call of a fire, dubbed the Skirball Fire, moving uphill at 4:52 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. The ongoing Creek Fire in the Sylmar area has scorched more than 11,000 acres. No injuries were reported.