California’s wildfires have forced thousands of people including those from the outskirts of Los Angeles, to flee their homes with only their essentials. Gusty winds of up to 130km/h worsened the situation by fuelling the fires that have created apocalyptic scenes of fire engulfed hillsides and billowing smoke.
Despite the catastrophe, these fires have caused, only one life has been lost. According to current reports this unidentified body was discovered overnight.
High winds are still forecast to last until Sunday, which will cause the extremely dangerous flames to head southward toward San Diego and Santa Barbara.
Fire officials confirmed that 4000 firefighters and dozens of helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts have been battling to destroy the two fires, south of Ventura County and Los Angeles.
Residents fleeing their homes have to stand by and hear how propane tanks explode. This means that houses are burning and they are fearful that it might be their own. Horses and other animals have also had to be evacuated from nearby ranches as a precaution, in the event the fire changes its course.
The Pentagon announced that California’s National Guard would deploy 65 troops to assist the firefighters in their battle to control the fires against the Santa Ana winds. The Fire Chief urges residents to be ready to leave their home at a moments notice as dry conditions and winds with hurricane like a force makes their task very difficult to control the fires.
Mansions of many celebrities, worth millions of dollars, were destroyed in the Bel Air neighbourhood, as well as the Moraga Bell Air Winery that is worth $30 million. The areas in Los Angeles, between Mulholland Drive and Sunset Boulevard, was also part of the evacuation.
The fire had also affected the exams of the University of California where classes were cancelled two days before the final exams due to firefighters that were afraid that the flames might move in the direction of the campus.
The even bigger fire north of Ventura Country, named “Thomas.” , is destroying everything in its path and consuming inland towns and coastal towns. This fire destroyed 38 850 hectares of land and forced 50 000 people to evacuate their homes.