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Skirball Fire Pictures And Videos: Wildfire Rages Near 405 Freeway, Bel Air

07 December 2017, 08:55 | Winston Chapman

Image The Thomas fire alone has destroyed 65,000 acres of land in Ventura County

The Thomas Fire has destroyed 65,000 acres of land and forced 27,000 people to flee their homes in Ventura County north of Los Angles

The remains of a home destroyed by the Creek fire burn Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, on the 11500 block of Cassara Avenue in Lake View Terrace.

Back in the beachside city of Ventura, the fire killed more than two dozen horses at a stable and had destroyed at least 150 structures, a number that was expected to get far bigger as firefighters are able to assess losses.

The Skirball Fire - named after the Skirball Cultural Center in northern Los Angeles - burned 475 acres in the Sepulveda Pass near the Getty Center, The Los Angeles Times reported.

According to Ventura County Fire Sergeant Eric Buschow the blaze started about 6:25 p.m. Monday in the foothills near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, a popular hiking destination. More than 12,000 buildings were under threat, officials said Wednesday.

The so-called Skirball Fire was reported before 5 a.m. on Wednesday in Bel-Air, and resulted in the complete closure of the 405 freeway, which is now partially reopened.

The fires have have now crossed over the main coastal highway and reached the Pacific Ocean, on America's West Coast. High winds combined with heavy smoke and blowing ash hindered firefighters' ability to contain those fires, including the Skirball Fire.

The National Weather Service expects conditions to last throughout the week. Neither is Bel-Air CC, though CBS Los Angeles said the course closed Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution".

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While helicopters bombarded the blaze from above with water drops, firefighters armed with chainsaws struggled to clear away the thick brush that was feeding the fire.

At the Getty, spokesman Ron Hartwig said they "feel confident we've done everything to protect the Getty and the art collection here". Some 200,000 people are under evacuation orders. "These will be winds that there will no ability to fight fires".

The freeway was likely to be impacted for the rest of the morning, Stewart said.

The winds are expected to pick up in Wednesday evening and Thursday - perhaps as gusty as 50 miles per hour, posing a risk of further spread.

But even Wednesday, the size of the Ventura fire continued to grow.

Thousands of people had to leave their homes in the middle of the night because of quickly spreading wildfires.



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