Tag Archives: fires

California fires: more mass evacuations as Thomas Fire rages on

California fires: more mass evacuations as Thomas Fire rages onAs of Sunday morning, the Thomas Fire had blackened some 173,000 acres across Santa Barbara County and Ventura County, incinerating more than 750 structures and endangering another 15,000. If you are ordered to evacuate, leave immediately,” an alert from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said. Power company Southern California Edison estimated that the Thomas Fire had deprived nearly 90,000 customers of power.



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California wildfires: Fears for avocado harvest as fires devastate top fruit-growing region

California wildfires: Fears for avocado harvest as fires devastate top fruit-growing regionWildfires in southern California have decimated a large area of the region’s famed avocado crop. Experts said even those farms that were not directly impacted by the blaze may have suffered devastating losses due to the hot, dry Santa Ana winds that blow out of the California desert, knocking avocados from the trees with gusts up to 80 miles per hour. “A lot of the fruit everybody was looking forward to harvesting next year is laying on the ground,” said John Krist, chief executive of the Ventura County Farm Bureau.



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California fires: Year around blazes set to become 'the new normal' as Governor blames climate change

California fires: Year around blazes set to become 'the new normal' as Governor blames climate changeCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown has told the state’s residents to get used to destructive wildfires in winter, declaring them “the new normal”. As six major fires ravage southern California, having led to the death of one person and the destruction of hundreds of homes and other buildings, Mr Brown said the state needed to face up to a new challenge. Visiting Ventura County, where the largest of the blazes – the Thomas Fire – is still growing, Mr Brown said drought and climate change mean California faces a “new reality” where lives and property are continually threatened by fire, at a cost of billions of dollars.



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Winds whip California fires as they spread south

Winds whip California fires as they spread southUnrelenting winds fanned towering flames Friday in southern California, where hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee multiple devastating fires in the Los Angeles area and new outbreaks near San Diego. Hundreds of structures including multi-million dollar mansions have been destroyed as thousands of firefighters battle wind-fueled wildfires on six different fronts. “I’ve never seen anything like this and I’ve lived here 20 years,” Judy Herman, 76, told AFP.



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Be 'ready to GO!' Southern California warns residents as fires rage

Be 'ready to GO!' Southern California warns residents as fires rageFARIA BEACH/LILAC, Calif. (Reuters) – Fanned by gusting winds, wildfires raged in densely populated Southern California for a fourth day on Thursday, with a new blaze north of San Diego exploding in size in just a few hours and dangerous conditions forecast until Sunday. Flames hopscotched over highways and railroad tracks, and residents rushed to evacuate their homes with only minutes’ warning, some leaving behind holiday gifts. About 200,000 residents were evacuated from their homes at one point, though some were due to return on Thursday evening.



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Winds whip California fires as they spread south

Winds whip California fires as they spread southThousands of firefighters battled raging wildfires in California on Saturday that have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee the Los Angeles area, as well as outbreaks closer to San Diego. Nearly 700 structures including multi-million dollar mansions have been destroyed by wildfires raging on six different fronts, but despite the intensity of the blazes, authorities have reported only one fatality. Herman was relieved to find her home in Murrieta, east of Los Angeles, still intact.



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California fires: Nearly 200,000 people flee homes as fifth wildfire erupts 

California fires: Nearly 200,000 people flee homes as fifth wildfire erupts Almost 200,000 people have been forced from their homes by wildfires rampaging through California as firefighters on Thursday raced to tackle another new blaze. The number of evacuees almost quadrupled as a fifth fire broke out to the north of San Diego. Fire crews are struggling to contain the blazes which are being fanned by the region’s Santa Ana winds, which could yet reach hurricane force. The hot, dry winds blow in from the California desert, and the state CAL Fire agency warned that gusty condition and low humidity would exacerbate the danger throughout the weekend. The blazes destroyed hundreds of home and forced many schools around Los Angeles to close. #RedFlagWarnings in effect until Saturday covering much of Southern California. Extremely dry conditions and #SantaAnaWinds will continue to elevate fire danger. Prepare now to ensure if evacuated you and your family are ready to GO!: t.co/vpyKMHygCFpic.twitter.com/ynFTsKcWag— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) December 7, 2017 Flames skipped over highways and railroad tracks, and residents rushed to evacuate their homes with only minutes' warning, some leaving behind holiday gifts. People feared for the safety of animals from cats to llamas amid reports that dozens of horses had been killed. North of San Diego, the newest blaze called the Lilac Fire grew from 10 acres to 2,500 acres in just a few hours on Thursday, according to fire crews, prompting Jerry Brown, governor of California, to declare a state of emergency for San Diego County. The blaze destroyed 20 structures and prompted evacuations and road closures. Propane tanks under several houses exploded from the heat. The other fires, which broke out on Monday and Tuesday, have reached into the wealthy enclave of Bel-Air on Los Angeles' West Side. Some major highways in the densely populated area were intermittently closed. Firefighters and helicopters sprayed and dumped bucketloads of water to try to contain the flames against a hellish backdrop of flaming mountains and walls of smoke. The Lilac Fire Credit: Reuters One death has been reported so far although authorities said they could not yet be sure whether the female body found in a car in Ventura County was the result of an accident or the fire. Three firefighters have also been injured, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. In the seaside enclave of Faria Beach, caught between burning mountains and the Pacific Ocean, northwest of Ventura, fires spread down the smoking hills. Flames jumped the heavily used US 101 highway and headed toward clusters of beach houses. Firefighters lined up along a railroad track, the last barrier from the flames. Surrounded by strong winds and smoke, Songsri Kesonchampa aimed a garden hose at a large pine tree between her Faria Beach house and the fire, attempting to fend off disaster. “If this tree catches fire, the strong wind will blow the flames towards my house. I need to protect this tree,” she said. Songsri Kesonchampa tosses a bucket of water on to burning embers across the road from her home  Credit: AFP As she spoke, a sheriff’s car drove by, ordering residents to leave. “The fire is here. You must evacuate your homes right now,” an officer said over the loudspeaker. In the coastal city of Ventura, Maurice Shimabuku said his friends told him to flee but he was staying put for now, feeling safe because he was near the Pacific Ocean. "I know I can just run back out that way, so I am relatively safe," he said. "I even have a surfboard and a wetsuit in my backyard right now, if I need to paddle away." A plane dumps flame retardant on a fast moving fire in Bonsall, California Credit: Reuters Heavy smoke made breathing hazardous in some areas, and residents were urged to stay inside. Ventura County authorities said air pollution measures in the Ojai Valley were "off the charts”. The Los Angeles County animal shelter said it was hosting 184 pets including llamas, donkeys and horses while reports said 29 horses were burned to death on Tuesday at a ranch in the Sylmar neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Skirball Fire in Los Angeles has forced hundreds of residents in the wooded hills near the Bel-Air neighbourhood to leave and charred more than 475 acres (192 hectares). Firefighters stand beside a burnt out home after the Skirball wildfire swept through the exclusive enclave of Bel Air Credit: AFP Jeremy Broekman was camped out at his in-laws' house in Sherman Oaks after evacuating his family of five early Wednesday from their home a mile away from the Skirball fire. Mr Broekman, who runs a public relations firm from his home office, had just an hour to get his family out of the house, grabbing hard drives and Pokemon cards and leaving behind a pile of Hannukah presents. He spent Thursday trying to work and checking the news while also caring for his three children, whose schools were closed because of the fire. "Although we always say we can work remotely with the use of a laptop, when you are displaced like this you are emotionally unbalanced," he said. Skirball threatened media magnate Rupert Murdoch's Moraga Estate winery. The property was evacuated, with possible damage to some buildings, Mr Murdoch said in a statement, but “We believe the winery and house are still intact."



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California communities under siege from wind-driven fires

California communities under siege from wind-driven firesVENTURA, Calif. (AP) — Wind-driven fires tore through California communities Tuesday for the second time in two months, leaving hundreds of homes feared lost and uprooting tens of thousands of people.



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NBC News Fires Matt Lauer After Sexual Misconduct Review

NBC News Fires Matt Lauer After Sexual Misconduct ReviewThe "Today" anchor was fired by NBC News on Wednesday after a female colleague made a detailed complaint accusing him of inappropriate sexual behavior during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.



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NBC fires Matt Lauer for 'inappropriate sexual behavior'

NBC fires Matt Lauer for 'inappropriate sexual behavior'The journalist, who had been with the “Today” show since 1994, was terminated after a review by the network of a detailed complaint from a colleague. Variety is reportedly preparing to reveal other accusations against Lauer.



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