California wildfire threatens Los Angeles, over 200000 forced to evacuate

A firefighter battles the Thomas fire in the town of La Conchita early Thursday

So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles's Bel-Air neighborhood. The blaze "continues to burn actively with extreme rates of spread", authorities warned.

TRT World's Frances Read reports from Los Angeles. The effect of climate change on the Santa Ana winds remains uncertain, though a 2006 study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters suggested that warming could shift the winds' season leading to larger areas burned by fires.

Santa Ana winds continued to hamper the firefighting effort, with gusts expected to reach up to 80 miles per hour at their peak.

The off-shore winds come from dry, desert areas.

To the north in Ventura County, the numbers were much more ominous.

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. One firefighter was injured but has since been released from the hospital, officials said.

"The thing that stopped that fire was the wind died down", Terrazas said. The closure led to massive congestion on many streets in the San Fernando Valley and in West Los Angeles. And downtown Los Angeles has received just 0.11 inches of rainfall since the beginning of October, typically the region's west season, according to data from the National Weather Service.

"It was insane", the 56-year-old said with a laugh.

Firefighting helicopters passed overhead, while fire trucks still littered the area. Thick smoke was visible over the Kagel Canyon nearby.

Still, said Hartwig, "this is the single best place for any art collection to be in the midst of a fire disaster like this". The number for Thursday is 296, a record high.

To the southwest, the Skirball Fire's continued impact could be seen traveling down Interstate 405, the famously congested roadway shut down by the flames a day earlier.

The eastbound and westbound entrance to the 405 Freeway from the 10 Freeway is closed as well. At least 265 schools have been closed.

Immediately, she said, they packed their cars with clothes and with family mementos like her sons' bar mitzvah videos, grabbed the family dog, Georgie, and a few other items they had accumulated in the 20 years they lived there. "My sister left and was complaining that she didn't even take underwear".

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