Surreal scenes of devastation across Southern California from unrelenting wildfires
Blog

Surreal scenes of devastation across Southern California from unrelenting wildfires


California firefighters find themselves on the front lines once again.
California firefighters find themselves on the front lines once again.

Image: RINGO CHIU/AFP/Getty Images

At least three fires are devastating Southern California, devouring Ventura and Santa Ana counties with flames, and stifling surrounding counties, including Los Angeles, with smoke. 

The fires began on Monday night and continued to spread throughout the day on Tuesday. So far, the Rye Fire in Santa Clarita has burned 1,000 acres, per ABC News. Santa Ana’s Creek Fire has destroyed 11,000 acres, according to the Los Angeles Times. And the Thomas Fire, which has been burning the longest, has torn through a massive 50,000 acres in Ventura County.

A man waters his home as firefighters battle a wildfire as it burns along a hillside near homes in Santa Paula, California.

A man waters his home as firefighters battle a wildfire as it burns along a hillside near homes in Santa Paula, California.

Image: RINGO CHIU/AFP/Getty Images

[embedded content]

Michael and Vonea McQuillam stand beside their house that was burnt to the ground during the Thomas wildfire in Ventura.

Michael and Vonea McQuillam stand beside their house that was burnt to the ground during the Thomas wildfire in Ventura.

Image: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

All three fires and the massive amounts of smoke they’re producing are visible from space.

NASA satellite shows smoke plumes and heat signatures (red dots) from the wildfires burning in the Los Angeles area on Dec. 5, 2017

NASA satellite shows smoke plumes and heat signatures (red dots) from the wildfires burning in the Los Angeles area on Dec. 5, 2017

Image: NASA WorldView

The fires have spread so quickly and grown so large thanks to the California weather phenomenon known as the Santa Ana winds. The east-to-west blowing winds come from the Pacific and tap into warm and dry conditions inland. The winds push against the air coming from the LA basin’s eastern mountains, which compresses the wind and heat between the ocean and the mountains, further drying out vegetation that has dried out over the summer.

The phenomenon makes for dangerous fire conditions, which is now affecting residents across Southern California, from Ventura County to the north, and Santa Clarita and Santa Ana to the east.

The Los Angeles Fire Department has ordered the evacuation of the 20.5 square miles including and surrounding the Creek Fire, which jumped the 210 Freeway and is threatening Santa Ana’s Sylmar and Lake View Terrace neighborhoods. The Rye Fire in Santa Clarita prompted the shutdown of Highway 5. Reuters reports that hundreds of homes have been destroyed by the Thomas Fire.

Across Southern California, people are packing up their homes, and rescuing and sequestering animals, to salvage what they can from the blaze. Some residents were even seen fighting the fire with water hoses. LA County Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby told the New York Times that “we are in an extreme firefight right now, trying to protect lives and save property.”

A home burns during the 'Thomas Fire.'

A home burns during the ‘Thomas Fire.’

Image: JOHN CETRINO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Firefighters put out a fire burning a home in Ventura.

Firefighters put out a fire burning a home in Ventura.

Image: Jae C. Hong/AP/REX/Shutterstock

UPDATE Dec. 5 4:59 p.m. PT:

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti declared a state of emergency in the city late Tuesday, advising that the fire covered some 11,000 acres.

Andrew Freedman contributed to this story.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f82233%2f2cb257ad f423 42ba 988e 9d0f9dc29211


December 6, 2017
Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


4 + 9 =