31.000 acre, 27.000 geëvacueerd en 150 huizen zijn al in vlammen op gegaanDoor de harde wind is de brand moeilijk onder controle te krijgen.
A fast-moving, wind-fueled wildfire swept into the city of Ventura early Tuesday, burning 31,000 acres, destroying homes and forcing 27,000 people to evacuate.
About 150 structures — including at least one large apartment complex — were consumed by flames, and many more were threatened as the fire crept about a quarter mile away from City Hall. Hundreds of firefighters working through the night tried to prevent the blaze from spreading, block by block, as they were confronted by wind gusts of up to 50 mph. One firefighter was injured, though it’s unclear how.
“Due to the intensity of the fire, crews are having trouble making access, but there are multiple reports of structures on fire,” authorities said in a bulletin Tuesday morning.
Fire officials said the intensity of the fire, coupled with the wind, made it pretty much unstoppable.
"The prospects for containment are not good,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen at a news conference. “Really mother nature is going to decide.”
The Thomas fire had burned 31,000 acres, but fire officials expected it would rip through at least 50,000 acres in the mountains between Santa Paula and Ventura.
The destruction comes in what was already the worst year on record for wildfires in California. In October, more than 40 people died and more than 10,000 structures were lost when fires swept through Northern California’s wine country.
One person was reported killed in a traffic accident on a road closed due to the Thomas fire. At least 1,000 homes in Ventura, Santa Paula and Ojai were evacuated.
More than 260,000 customers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties were without power. As of 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, a Southern California Edison spokeswoman did not know when power would be restored.
In Santa Paula, residents were already awake and alert when a police cruiser inched through their neighborhood about 2 a.m. Tuesday, announcing mandatory evacuations. At least one woman in a white robe stopped the cruiser and asked how close the fire was to the neighborhood.
“It’s coming across this way,” the officer said.
Nearby, Mike Medina stood by Say and Roger roads, watching the flames slowly making their way down the canyon through a gap of tree branches and snapping a photo.
Earlier in the day when the fire broke out, Medina said he was returning home from work at Costco in Oxnard when his 73-year-old mother called him.
“She told me, ‘I could see flames in the back of our yard,’ ” he said. His father, an amputee, would need help getting out, he thought.
Medina drove straight to his parents home. When he got there, he saw flames in the distance. The winds, strong enough to shove a person, picked up dust. He said he stayed with his parents until authorities ordered them to leave.
In the early 1980s, Medina said, a wildfire had burned down his parents’ home. They rebuilt it and now, he wondered if it was still standing.
“To see it almost burn, they must be losing their minds,” he said.
Strong winds were pushing the blaze in a southwest direction toward Ventura and Highway 33. About 500 firefighters were battling the blaze, or on their way there. Fixed-wing aircraft and water-dropping helicopters were expected to attack the fire at daybreak. Numerous spot fires erupted as a result of the difficult conditions.
After midnight, residents just outside the evacuation zone wondered whether they should pack up and leave. Taylor Penny, 24, and her neighbor Eric Chen, 31, stood in the road of their neighborhood just south of Foothill Road.
For the past hour, they’d watched the flames ebb and flow along the nearby hills. Chen said the flames seemed to be lessening, but Penny remained worried as they stood in the wind and cold.
The power in the neighborhood was out, and Penny said they had limited access to information about where the fire was because their cellphones had poor reception.
“I just hope we’re all right,” she said. “That’s it.”
About 12:45 a.m., Karen McCleery stood in her driveway near plastic candy canes and other Christmas decor, watching the fire burn a nearby hillside.
Like many of her neighbors, McCleery took refuge in that fact that the fire had one more hill that it would have to burn before reaching the neighborhood.
She said she lost power about 6 p.m. Monday.
“That was our first sign,” McCleeey, 65, said. “And then you could just see it racing across” the ridge.”
In McCleery’s neighborhood, Foothill Heights, just south of Foothill Road in Ventura, many neighbors stood in driveways, watching the fire burn, wondering when it would be time to leave.
Not far from McCleery’s home, Eddie Barragan, 43, and his wife Maria, 39, sat in folding camp chairs at the corner of North Wells Road and Loma Vista Road.
The couple had been watching the fire for the past four hours as family waited inside their home. Barragan, a union iron worker who has worked as a wildlife firefighter, said he was studying the flames and paying attention to how the wind shifted.
“If it comes over this next ridge, or the wind shifts, it takes one ember to get on one of these houses, and there it goes,” he said.
The blaze started in the foothills near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, a popular hiking destination, and grew wildly to more than 15 square miles in the hours that followed — consuming vegetation that hasn't burned in decades, Ventura County Fire Sgt. Eric Buschow said.
Shortly after 10 p.m. Monday, Richard Macklin, a Ventura County fire engineer, was on the phone with a news outlet when his fire station in Santa Paula — the command center for the incident — went dark.
“We have power now,” Macklin said about 10:20 p.m. “I got lights, I don’t know how they’re providing it.”[Brutal Santa Ana winds fuel dangerous Ventura County wildfire, grounding choppers]Authorities were evacuating homes east of Dickenson Road, north of Monte Vista Drive along Highway 150 and south of the college in Santa Paula and homes north of Foothill Road in Ventura. The fire was burning on both sides of the highway.
“We’re really just trying to catch it around the edges and just pinch it off as quickly as we possibly can,” said Ventura County Firefighter Jason Hodge, adding that crews are dealing with 25 to 50 mph winds. “That’s what’s driving this fire. So it’s a challenge, but everybody’s out there working hard and will be through the night.”
Santa Paula resident Fabian Mauricio, 31, was playing basketball in Los Angeles when friends began texting him about a fire in his neighborhood. He called his parents, who tried to downplay the blaze to keep him from worrying. But when he checked photos and videos online, he saw a raging inferno.
As his parents packed important documents, clothing and their two dogs, they told him to stay put.
“I’m worried, but there’s nothing I can really do,” said Mauricio, who trained in a fire academy. “It is kind of helpless not being able to be there, help or do anything about it.”
Since shortly before 7 p.m., firefighters were in place to protect homes along Highway 150 just north of Santa Paula, said Ventura County Fire Capt. Stan Ziegler. Within an hour, the fire grew from 50 to 500 acres.
Evacuation centers were opened at Nordhoff High School at 1401 Maricopa Highway in Ojai and at the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 W. Harbor Blvd. in Ventura.
Four helicopters were to begin making water drops after crews determined that it was safe to fly as the blaze grew rapidly. But about 9:30 p.m., two helicopters were forced to land at Santa Paula Airport due to 50-mph winds. “Waiting for winds to slow down so we can get back in the fight,” officials said on Twitter.
“It’s always difficult and somewhat dangerous to fly at night, so depending on different conditions and the geographic challenges is how they evaluate whether or not they can operate at night,” Hodge said.
Ventura County Fire staffed an extra 100 or so firefighters in anticipation of strong winds that triggered a red flag warning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Weather officials said those regions could see wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph Monday night into Tuesday.
The blaze was reported about 6:25 p.m.
“This is exactly what we have prepared for,” Ziegler said. “This is not a surprise by any means".
Ferocious wildfire breaks out, grows to 26,000 acres, near the coast near Santa Paula (CA), thousands evacuated, major power outages: https://t.co/zHhwQFlh6Q #JJFHypothesis #wildfire #SantaPaula pic.twitter.com/UMQdfpXw5R— JJFH (@JJFHypothesis) 5 december 2017
"BBC News - #California #wildfire: Thousands evacuated in Ventura County" I have friends in the area. They have #checkedin safe but have been evacuated from their homes, not knowing what they will return to - my thoughts are with them: https://t.co/bSAjzNVwAs— #meltemplespa (@meltemplespa) 5 december 2017
Sending massive prayers for all those evacuating from the #ThomasFire. May y'all find safety tonight and Godspeed my fellow Americans. #Wildfire #VenturaFire #VenturaCounty #Ventura #SantaBarbara #SantaPaula #California pic.twitter.com/lIbV0zwHHe— IndivisibleSATX (@SATXIndivisible) 5 december 2017
#ThomasFire— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) 5 december 2017
• More than 30,000 acres burned
• 150 structures destroyed
• 27,000 people evacuated, fire officials say
• One fatality in car accident linked to the fire
• One firefighter injuredhttps://t.co/v75LW8uFDq
One person is dead and thousands have fled their homes, after the flames tore through 31,000 acres, or 48.4 square miles, in a matter of hours. https://t.co/phI1V9TK6a #ThomasFire pic.twitter.com/BlGJ4Ybnv5— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) 5 december 2017
Southern California Wildfires Kill 1; Thousands Evacuated in Ventura, While Separate Fire Burns in Kagel Canyon
Bron afbeelding: @yamphoto | Twitter
A fast-moving wildfire charred nearly 50 square miles in Ventura County, California, overnight.
At least 27,000 people were evacuated in the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura, and 150 structures were destroyed.
A separate fire forced evacuations in the Kagel Canyon area.
The fires were driven by Santa Ana winds.
Fueled by fierce Santa Ana winds, a pair of fast-spreading wildfires in Southern California consumed dozens of square miles, killed one person, destroyed 150 structures and forced thousands to flee their homes Tuesday morning. Officials ordered thousands to get out of Ventura, California, overnight Monday as the so-called Thomas fire grew out of control. Homes were burned, one person died and some 500 firefighters battled the aggressive conflagration. Crews were forced to wait until daybreak to start fighting the fire through the air with the help of planes and helicopters. "The fire growth is just absolutely exponential," Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen told the Associated Press. "All that firefighters can do when we have winds like this is get out ahead, evacuate people and protect structures."
Hours later, another fire was reported Tuesday morning in the Kagel Canyon area, east of Ventura and north of Los Angeles. Named the Creek fire, it quickly burned 1,000 acres and threatened homes, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Thousands Flee as Inferno Invades Ventura
The Thomas fire was first reported in the mountains just north of Santa Paula, California, around 6:30 p.m. Monday, about 50 miles west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The wildfire quickly grew to nearly 50 square miles in less than 12 hours, prompting evacuations in the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura. Evacuation shelters were set up at Nordhoff High School in Ojai and at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Mandatory evacuation orders were expanded to include more than 7,700 homes early Tuesday morning, KABC-TV reported.
There was one report of 50 homes burning in one part of the city of Ventura, according to the L.A. Times. Local media also said the Vista del Mar hospital complex was destroyed, but all patients were safely evacuated. ''The prospects for containment are not good," said Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen at an early Tuesday morning briefing. "Really, Mother Nature is going to decide.''
About 500 firefighters were either on the scene or en route. Fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters were expected to begin to attack the fire at day, according to Ready Ventura County. The Ventura County Fire Department said one firefighter was injured battling the blaze; the L.A. Times said he was hit by a car while protecting homes.
One person was killed in a vehicle crash on a road closed by the wildfire, the Los Angeles Times reported. Santa Ana winds up to 50 mph were fanning the flames, pushing the fire's perimeter rapidly toward the west-southwest, toward the Ventura County coast. Spot fires were reported ahead of the main fire perimeter.
The National Weather Service warned Monday afternoon these strong Santa Ana winds, combined with very low humidity, provided an ideal setup for "very rapid fire growth." The strongest and longest-duration Santa Ana winds of the season, so far, were expected to continue through Thursday. The fire was visible from the National Weather Service office in Oxnard, but the office was not in danger. However, the NWS Doppler radar just north of Oxnard was said to be "in the fire vicinity" and had been placed in standby mode due to the fire's proximity.
Another Fire Sparked in Kagel Canyon
Tuesday morning, officials announced a second fire was moving quickly and burning dozens of acres in Southern California. Firefighters responded to the scene of the so-called Creek fire in Kagel Canyon near Sylmar, according to the L.A. TimesThe fire burned 1,000 acres in the hills near homes off Little Tujunga Canyon Road, and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department said evacuation orders were in place for some areas near the blaze, KTLA.com reported. Helicopters were deployed Tuesday morning to fight the fire, the report added. The cause of the fire wasn't immediately known.
UPDATE: Op dit moment 3 branden- Thomas Fire
- Creek Fire
- Rye Fire
More residents of Southern California will have to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice as the strongest and most prolonged Santa Ana wind event so far this season continues through this week: https://t.co/GdzhzDXFvK pic.twitter.com/mUB3MBJPbY— AccuWeather (@breakingweather) 5 december 2017
Three fires now burning in the southland - gusty NE winds are pushing unhealthy air SW. Smoke Advisory in effect for many... stay inside, close windows/doors. #ThomasFire #CreekFire #RyeFire #CBSLA pic.twitter.com/bdxgZFOk8c— Danielle Gersh (@DanielleGersh) 5 december 2017
Explosive fire growth threatens Southern California as strongest Santa Ana winds of season howl
Bron afbeelding: @KNXmargaret | Twitter
More residents of Southern California will have to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice as the strongest and most prolonged Santa Ana wind event so far this season continues through this week.The strong winds have already fueled the fast-moving and destructive Thomas Fire near Ventura. Tens of thousands of acres were charred on Monday night alone. More lives, including those of firefighters, and property may be threatened by rapidly spreading wildfires as no relief from the gusty winds will come to Southern California the rest of this week.
"This Santa Ana event is different than most that hit Southern California," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said.
"Usually, there is a 12- to 24-hour period of the highest winds and then the winds decrease," he said. "This one will be a four-day event, which will make fighting ongoing fires much more difficult. The risk for additional fast-moving fires is quite high."
Bron afbeelding: AccuWeather
Santa Ana winds began whipping the mountains and communities through and below the passes and canyons of Southern California at the start of this week as a strong area of high pressure settled into the Great Basin.Since the high will not be quick to depart and/or weaken, gusty winds will continue through the week, as AccuWeather has been warning about since early in the weekend. Gusts between 40 and 50 mph in the canyons and passes and 50 and locally 70 mph in the mountains will be common daily this week.
A resurgence of stronger winds, however, is expected later on Wednesday night into Thursday. A repeat of the winds from Tuesday morning may occur with gusts to 60 mph in the canyons and passes and 80 mph in the mountains. "The winds will make it difficult to get air support into these wildfires," Clark said. "Helicopters may be able to aid firefighters, but the winds can be more problematic for larger aircraft."The fire danger on Thursday may become more extreme when compared to Tuesday as temperatures are expected to be higher and the strongest winds will cover a larger area of Southern California.
On Tuesday, the mountains east of San Diego escaped the strongest winds that whipped the higher terrain surrounding Los Angeles. This is not expected to be the case on Thursday. As is typical during Santa Ana wind events, winds around Downtown Los Angeles will stay calm.
Residents will have to use extreme caution with cigarette butts, campfires and any equipment that produces sparks through this week. The air dries out dramatically as winds blow from inland areas to the coast, putting Southern California at significant risk for any sparks or embers to grow into larger blazes that the winds can make uncontrollable.
Bron afbeelding: Ventura County Fire Department & AccuWeather
The winds may also down trees and power lines. The exterior of weaker structures may sustain damage. In addition to causing power outages, the sparks from downed lines and transformers may also start fires. Motorists planning to travel on Interstate 5, I-8, I-10 and I-15 through the wind-prone areas of Southern California can face significant hazards. Dangerous crosswinds threaten to overturn high-profile vehicles, including those on I-15’s Cajon Pass.
Visibility can be dramatically reduced at times as the winds kick up blowing dust or transport wildfire smoke.Poor air quality will not be limited to the areas in the immediate vicinity of the fires. The winds are strong enough to spread the smoke dozens of miles downwind. Large waves and swells will also continue to batter Catalina Harbor as the winds howl. "Catalina Harbor is typically a very calm place except during Santa Ana wind events," Clark said. "Due to the pounding seas, there is concern for flooding and boat damage."
The Santa Ana winds are expected to lessen this weekend. However, locally breezy conditions may continue to plague firefighters and power restoration crews into next week.
The early-week Santa Ana event will be a chilly one, which will prevent temperatures from dramatically spiking as is common when Santa Ana winds are howling. In fact, nighttime frosty conditions and/or subfreezing temperatures are expected to grip the upper deserts, including Victorville, and the sheltered valleys of Southern California into midweek.
Freezing air to grip parts of Southern California
Bron afbeelding: AccuWeather
There is a significant risk for crop damage with the nightly freezes. "The lowest temperatures will occur where there is no wind at night," according to Clark. "Some of these conditions may occur right to the coast of Central California." Residents will want to turn up the heat and cover or bring in any outdoor plants. Temperatures will gradually trend upward later in the week.
Bron: AccuWeather.com | Gewijzigd: 5 december, 20:31 uur, door Lako
Before/After comparison SuomiNPP #satellite images of smoke from #SoCal #wildfires igniting and burning yesterday. The fast-moving blazes are fueled by strong dry #SantaAnaWinds. @CAL_FIRE @VCFD #ThomasFire #CreekFire #RyeFire @NWS expects winds to continue for the next few days. pic.twitter.com/U6tHXAN7cT— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) 6 december 2017
There are four fires in the L.A. area right now. The newest one, #SkirballFire in Bel-Air, shut down the 405 Freeway and forced mandatory evacuations. The Thomas fire in Ventura burned 50,500 acres on its way to the Pacific Ocean. https://t.co/J30cNxYQ6F pic.twitter.com/83R3cXFQfG— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) 6 december 2017
Gives me chills just watching this, can't imagine being there in person. Be safe @ginasilvafox11 and crew. Thinking of all the people in fire areas this morning. #skirballfire pic.twitter.com/EMvN1By60X— Kelly Taylor (@kmtwanderlust) 6 december 2017
#ThomasFire has burned over 65,000 acres and has 0% containment. Mulitple evacuations in place throughout Ventura County. @ReadyVC has most recent lists of mandatory evacuations. #NASA pic.twitter.com/FXyZz3FUyz— Ventura County Fire (@VCFD) 6 december 2017
#ThomasFire is now at 65,000 acres and shows no sign of slowing down. Please pay attention to instructions from first responders and emergency personnel. Thank you to all the firefighters working hard to keep Californians safe!— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) 6 december 2017
Not the typical morning commute... pic.twitter.com/kJIOQeqsIK— A. Mutzabaugh CMT (@WLV_investor) 6 december 2017
More than 1,000 firefighters battle California inferno's
Bron afbeelding: @AshleyDeVan | Twitter
VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - More than 1,000 firefighters battled an unrelenting wildfire on Wednesday that threatened more than 12,000 homes in and around Ventura, the biggest of several uncontrolled Southern California blazes fanned by intensifying dry Santa Ana winds. The Thomas Fire raged in the foothills above and in the city of Ventura some 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Los Angeles, fire officials said late Tuesday. The blaze, which began on Monday, had charred more than 50,000 acres, they said.
“We are still in the middle of an aggressive and active firefight on the ground,” said Robert Welsbie, spokesman for the Ventura Fire Department. “If the winds pick up, we will face quite a challenge.”
The fire, which was entirely uncontained, was being whipped by unpredictable Santa Ana winds, which blow in from the California desert. Wind gusts were forecast to top out at 70 miles per hour (115 km per hour) on Wednesday and remain strong through the week. There were no immediate reports of fatalities, Welsbie said. Some 1,000 firefighters battled to save homes, with one suffering a minor injury, Welsbie said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a nearby small but growing 50-acre brush fire early Wednesday that forced the partial closure of heavily traveled Interstate 405, near scenic Mulholland Drive. The nearby Getty Center museum shut down for the day to protect its art collection from smoke damage, it said.A fire crew passes a burning home during a wind-driven wildfire in Ventura, California, U.S., December 5, 2017.
Bron afbeelding: @JeffreeStar | Twitter
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, freeing state funds and resources to assist.More than 250,000 homes lost power, utilities said. Classes were canceled at all schools in the Ventura Unified School District on Wednesday.Slideshow. Thomas was the largest of a number of wildfires that broke out across Southern California following the onset of the Santa Ana winds.
In the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the Creek Fire had blackened more than 11,000 acres and forced the evacuation of 2,500 homes and a convalescent center north of Interstate 210.
Three firefighters were injured and hospitalized in stable condition, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared a state of emergency while 11 Los Angeles Unified schools canceled Wednesday classes. Some 30 structures were destroyed by the Creek Fire by Tuesday evening, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
Bron afbeelding: @JeffreeStar | Twitter
Bron artikel: Reuters.com
Footage out of California shows 'unbelievable conditions' as the #Creekfire burns near northern Los Angeles. The rapidly growing fire in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest has destroyed at least 30 homes. pic.twitter.com/RMyA752mCj— The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) 6 december 2017
Strong Santa Ana winds will continue to challenge firefighters battling four major wildfires that have charred tens of thousands of acres in Southern California: https://t.co/yR8azRWcdm #ThomasFire #CreekFire #RyeFire #SkirballFire pic.twitter.com/ehBZjkv3AY— AccuWeather (@breakingweather) 6 december 2017
Op het moment woeden er enkele grote branden in het zuiden van Californië.
Deze branden hebben zich zeer snel verspreid dankzij de Santa Ana wind, in combinatie met de droge omgeving grijpt het vuur snel om zich heen.
Maar wat is de Santa Ana wind eigenlijk?
Santa Ana wind
De Santa Ana wind is vernoemd naar de plek Santa Ana in Californië. De wind ontstaat wanneer er zich een hogedrukgebied boven het vasteland van westelijk Verenigde Staten vormt, en boven de Pacifische oceaan de luchtdruk lager is. Hierdoor krijg je een verschil in luchtdruk en gaat de wind waaien, heel normaal.
Maar bij Californië liggen bergruggen de wind in de weg, hier kiest de wind de weg van de minste weerstand, namelijk tussen de bergen door. De lucht perst zich dan tussen de bergen door, waardoor de wind flink versneld. Daar komt nog bij dat de wind van hoog naar laag (de kust) gaat, en daarbij nog eens extra versneld. Bovendien is dit een droge en hete wind, hij komt immers uit de Mojavewoestijn. Deze eigenschappen wakkeren de bosbranden nog eens extra aan. Het is een wind die vooral in de winter voorkomt, in december bereikt hij zijn hoogtepunt.
De huidige situatie
Momenteel waait er een krachtige Santa Ana wind, morgen kan deze echter extreme windsnelheden behalen, met windstoten ruim boven de 100 km/u zal het blussen nog moeilijker worden. Er wordt nu al geroepen dat dit de meest krachtige Santa Ana wind is sinds oktober 2007 (hier), in dat jaar viel ongeveer 3900 km² ten prooi aan de vlammen (ongeveer provincie Utrecht en Flevoland samen).
Naar verwachting zal de wind pas vrijdag afnemen.
Blauwe pijl: windrichting
Omcirkelde gebied: door bosbranden geteisterd gebied | Gewijzigd: 7 december, 17:00 uur, door W. in t Erland
Max.: 22 juni 2017 34,9ºC
Min.: 19 jan. 2016 -9,5ºC
Neerslag: 2 juni 2016 125 mm
Sneeuwdek: 10 dec. 2017 15 cm
Onweer: 23 juni 2016
Winds whip up wildfires, forcing mass evacuations in California
Bron afbeelding: NASA/Randy Bresnik
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hot, dry Santa Ana winds are expected to fan several relentless wildfires in southern California on Thursday, where hundreds of houses have burned and tens of thousands have fled their homes around Los Angeles, the second-largest U.S. city. The winds, which blow westward from the California desert, were forecast to reach 75 mph (130 kph) on Thursday. That could stoke several blazes burning in the Los Angeles area that have already caused, according to local media, about 200,000 people to evacuate. “Strong winds over night creating extreme fire danger,” said an alert sent by the countrywide emergency system in Los Angeles.
Bron afbeelding: NASA/Randy Bresnik
Video and photographs on social media showed flame-covered hillsides along busy roadways as commuters slowly made their way to work or home, rows of houses reduced to ash and firefighters spraying water on walls of fire as they tried to save houses. “We are in the beginning of a protracted wind event,” Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), told the Los Angeles Times. “There will be no ability to fight fire in these kinds of winds.”
In the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the Creek Fire destroyed at least 30 homes, blackened more than 12,000 acres (4,800 hectares) and forced the evacuation of 2,500 homes and a convalescent center.
Another fire, known as the Rye Fire, threatened more than 5,000 homes and structures northwest of Los Angeles.A photo taken from the International Space Station and moved on social media by astronaut Randy Bresnik shows smoke rising from wildfire burning in Southern California, U.S., December 6, 2017. Courtesy @AstroKomrade/NASA/Handout via REUTERSThe Skirball Fire, which erupted early on Wednesday had burned about 500 acres (200 hectares) near large estates in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, was only 5 percent contained. Firefighters battled to save multimillion-dollar homes in the path of the flames.
Bron afbeelding: @sbsun | Twitter
“These are days that break your heart,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a news conference. “These are also days that show the resilience of our city.”Slideshow (5 Images)No civilian casualties or fatalities have been reported. Three firefighters were injured and hospitalized in stable condition, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Dozens of schools across the area canceled classes on Thursday.
The largest blaze, the Thomas Fire, burned more than 90,000 acres (36,000 hectares) after it destroyed more than 150 homes and threatened thousands more in Ventura, about 50 miles (80 km) northwest on Los Angeles. Additional evacuations were called for late on Wednesday in the Ventura area, where 50,000 people had already fled their homes over the last three days. “The danger is imminent,” Cal Fire said in its evacuation notice.
Bron artikel: Reuters.com
Here are latest acreage/containment numbers:#RyeFire 7,000 acres - 15% contained #CreekFire 12,605 acres - 5% contained #ThomasFire 96,000 acres - 5% contained #SkirballFire 475 acres - No word on containment since last night#LittleMountainFire 260 acres - 100% contained— Beatriz Valenzuela (@BeatrizVNews) 7 december 2017
Witnesses say this man pulled over to save a wild rabbit from flames along Highway 1 in Southern California as the massive #ThomasFire spreads toward Santa Barbara County. https://t.co/gGqzZlGfqT pic.twitter.com/3MT8IvV91d— ABC News (@ABC) 7 december 2017
We've set up the Southern California Wildfire Fund to help the victims of the L.A. County wildfires rebuild their lives. Please support now → https://t.co/dxe52alFd5 #SkirballFire #SylmarFire #United4LA pic.twitter.com/6eVpZRQhjY— United Way of L.A. (@LAUnitedWay) 7 december 2017
Verwoestende branden Californië vagen '25 jaar herinneringen weg'
Bron afbeelding: Reuters
De brandweer heeft de natuurbranden in het zuiden van de Amerikaanse staat Californië nog altijd niet onder controle. Het vuur heeft meer dan 400 huizen verwoest en volgens de LA Times is een vrouw van 70 omgekomen, toen ze op de vlucht was voor de branden. Honderdduizenden mensen moesten noodgedwongen hun huis verlaten. Inmiddels keren veel van hen weer terug, maar van sommige woningen is niet veel meer over. Ook het huis van de 53-jarige Dave Murray is door het vuur verwoest. "Het is heel onwerkelijk
Murray verliet met zijn vrouw en drie kinderen zijn huis in de stad Ventura toen het vuur te dichtbij kwam. "We moesten alles in het donker bij elkaar grijpen, want er was geen elektriciteit meer. We zagen alleen de oranje gloed op de heuvel. Toen wist ik dat ons huis in vlammen op zou gaan."
Terwijl hij naar de puinhoop kijkt, op de plek waar ooit zijn huis stond, is Murray nog altijd vol ongeloof. "Ik ben geschokt. 25 jaar aan herinneringen. Niemand kan zich voorstellen hoe het is om je huis in vlammen op te zien gaan", vertelt Murray. "Je gelooft gewoon niet dat dit jou overkomt. Jouw spullen, jouw kostbaarheden die in puin veranderen.
De 38-jarige brandweerman Richie Fredell is ook zijn huis kwijt door het vuur. Doordat hij nu zelf getroffen is, kijkt hij heel anders naar zijn eigen werk. "De eerste nacht van de branden was ik aan het werk. Ik zag hoe huizen werden platgebrand. Dan heb je wel medelijden met die mensen, maar je hebt er geen persoonlijke connectie mee. Tot zoiets je zelf overkomt."
Het was voor Fredell een enorme klap toen hij zag dat zijn huis er niet meer stond. "Ik kan me alleen herinneren dat ik begon te trillen toen ik zag dat mijn huis weg was. Ik was geschokt."
Voorlopig nog niet geblust
Bron afbeelding: Reuters
De verwachting is dat de branden voorlopig nog niet geblust zijn. Vrijdag is de wind gaan liggen waardoor de brandweer het vuur op sommige plekken meer onder controle kon krijgen. Maar zondag gaat het weer harder waaien en is de brandweer bang dat het vuur zich toch weer verder gaat verspreiden.
Bron artikel: NOS.nl
California firefighters make gains ahead of strong winds
Bron afbeelding: @SoCalFirePhoto | Twitter
VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters across Southern California made progress on Saturday battling a slew of scattered wildfires that have killed at least one person, destroyed hundreds of buildings and forced more than 200,000 people from their homes this week.
As the dry Santa Ana winds that have fueled the blazes abated slightly, officials lifted evacuation orders for parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and crews started getting the upper hand in containing some major fires. But with the National Weather Service expecting a pickup in top wind velocity to 55 miles per hour (89 km per hour) on Sunday from 40 miles per hour (64 km per hour), the 8,700 firefighters battling six fast-moving blazes were under pressure to work quickly.
“We’re far from being out of the woods on any of them,” Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), told a news briefing in Ventura.
At an evacuation shelter at the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Saturday, fluorescent lights shone above hundreds of cots set up in rows. Outside, dust and soot made it hard to breathe. Surah Yasharal and Yaaqub Yoshua were at the shelter with their two toddlers, stuck there since arriving by Greyhound bus from Florida on Friday. They had planned to move into a guest house owned by Yoshua’s employer, but by Saturday they still had not learned whether it had survived.
“If it’s not there when we get there, we’ll go back to the drawing board,” said Yoshua, 26. “We’ll improvise.”
Marie Snyder was at the beach on Monday evening when the fire started. She could not return to her home in the community of Oak View, so she stayed with friends for a few days, coming to the shelter on Friday.
“We were down at the beach and all of a sudden it got really windy and then it got really warm,” she said. “And then I saw the moon was red.”
Bron afbeelding: @RVCFirePost1400 | Twitter
This week’s fires have destroyed nearly 800 buildings, mostly in Ventura County where the Thomas Fire, the largest blaze, erupted on Monday. Officials said that by Saturday the Thomas Fire had charred 148,000 acres (59,893 hectares), an area about the size of Chicago. As evening approached, the blaze was most active north of the small city of Ojai, north of Ventura, known for its classical music festival and its spas. Ojai itself was not threatened, officials said.
California Governor Jerry Brown told reporters that climate change had helped make intense fires such as these the state’s “new normal.”
The fires threatened Californians from Santa Barbara County down the Pacific Coast to Mexico. They have claimed at least one human casualty: Virginia Pesola, 70, died in a Wednesday car accident along an evacuation route from the Thomas Fire.“The cause of death is blunt force injuries with terminal smoke inhalation and thermal injuries,” Ventura County Medical Examiner Christopher Young said in a statement on Friday.
Bron afbeelding: @LASDHQ | Twitter
Brown issued emergency proclamations this week for Santa Barbara, San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. President Donald Trump issued a federal proclamation that enables agencies to coordinate relief efforts. The fires have threatened property worth billions of dollars, just weeks after October wildfires in Northern California resulted in insured losses of more than $9 billion. Those fires, concentrated in wine country, killed 43 people.
At their peak, this week’s fires drove about 212,000 Californians from their homes. The lifting of several evacuation orders reduced the number of people displaced from their homes to 87,000 on Saturday.
Visibility improved in Ventura early on Saturday, with blue skies returning as strong winds blew smoke out to sea. Throughout the area, officials reported gains in their battle to contain the fires. The Thomas Fire was 15 percent contained and the Skirball Fire in Los Angeles was 75 percent contained, while the Creek and Rye Fires in Los Angeles County were 80 percent and 65 percent contained, officials said.
North of San Diego, the 4,100-acre (1,660-hectare) Lilac Fire was 20 percent contained by Saturday, officials said. Fallbrook, known for its avocado orchards, burned, and homes were destroyed in its Rancho Monserate Country Club retirement community.
Bron artikel: Reuters.com | Gewijzigd: 10 december, 09:18 uur, door Lako
California wildfire rages toward scenic coastal communities
Bron afbeelding: @gvitty | Twitter
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Reuters) - A massive California wildfire that has already destroyed nearly 800 structures scorched another 56,000 acres on Sunday, making it the fifth largest such blaze in recorded state history, as it ran toward picturesque coastal cities.But fire officials said as darkness fell that with the hot, dry Santa Ana winds not as fierce as expected, crews had been successful in building some fire lines between the flames and the towns of Montecito and Carpinteria.
“This is a menacing fire, certainly, but we have a lot of people working very diligently to bring it under control,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told an evening press conference Still, some 5,000 residents remained under evacuation orders in the two communities, near Santa Barbara and about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Los Angeles. Some 15,000 homes were considered threatened.
The Thomas Fire, the worst of six major blazes in Southern California in the last week and already the fifth largest in the state since 1932, has blackened 230,000 acres (570,000 hectares), more than the area of New York City. It has destroyed 790 houses, outbuildings and other structures and left 90,000 homes and businesses without power.
Bron afbeelding: @BillyBaldwin | Twitter
The combination of Santa Ana winds and rugged terrain in the mountains that run through Santa Barbara and Ventura counties have hampered firefighting efforts, and officials said the Thomas Fire was only 10 percent contained on Sunday evening, down from 15 percent earlier in the day. But wind gusts recorded at 35-40 miles per hour were less than those predicted by forecasters, giving crews a chance to slow the flames’ progress down slopes above the endangered communities.
The fires burning across Southern California have forced the evacuation of more 200,000 people and destroyed some 1,000 structures. Among them are residents of Montecito, one of the state’s wealthiest enclave and home to such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey. Emmy Leikin, an Emmy-winning songwriter who was ordered to evacuate her Montecito home at 9 a.m. on Sunday, said she fled with only her cell phone, medication, eyeglasses and a few apples. Leikin, 74, said she doesn’t know the condition of her home and belongings but “none of that means anything when it is your safety.”
Worst in a decade
Bron afbeelding: @LaTimes | Twitter
The fires that began last Monday night collectively amounted to one of the worst conflagrations across Southern California in the last decade. They have, however, been far less deadly than the blazes in Northern California’s wine country in October that killed over 40.
In the last week, only one death has been reported, a 70-year-old woman who died Wednesday in a car accident as she attempted to flee the flames in Ventura County. Scores of horses have died, including at least 46 at a thoroughbred training facility in San Diego county. Residents and firefighters alike have been alarmed by the speed with which the fires spread, reaching into the heart of cities like Ventura.
Bron afbeelding: @zettie_geez
Bron en gehele artikel: Reuters.com