Powerful Santa Ana winds helped several wildfires burn out-of-control for the fourth day this week as thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes, and hundreds of homes and structures have been destroyed.
The current figures of the fires burning around SoCal:
#LilacFire • 4,100 acres; 0% containment
#CreekFire: • 15,323 acres; 20% containment
#RyeFire • 7,000 acres; 25% containment
#SkirballFire • 475 acres; 20% containment
#ThomasFire • 132,000 acres; 5% containment
#LibertyFire • 300 acres; 5% containment
“Until the wind stops blowing, there’s really not a lot we can do as far as controlling the perimeter,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said at a press conference on Thursday. “This is a fight we’re going to be fighting probably for a couple of weeks.”
The L.A.U.S.D. says all L.A. Unified schools in the San Fernando Valley as well as another 17 schools on the city's Westside will be closed for the remainder of the week. Charter schools as well as adult schools are also expected to close, but officials say parents and guardians should check with their individual schools if they are uncertain.
The decision closes at least 265 schools in the district, which have been affected by wildfires burning around Los Angeles. Officials say they made the decision because of the "expected high winds and the ongoing fires in our area, and the air quality."
The L.A.U.S.D. posted a list on its website detailing exactly which schools have been closed. Students and staff at affected schools should not go to school Thursday or Friday the website stated.
More information about each individual wildfire can be found below:
Firefighters in north San Diego county battled a fast-moving wildfire that scorched thousands of acres near Fallbrook. Over 20 structures were destroyed, and another 12 more were damaged according to Cal Fire Capt. Nick Schuler. More than 4,100 acres have already burned with no containment on the fire.
The blaze initially erupted around 11:25 am Thursday morning just west of Interstate 15, north of Lilac Road in Pala Mesa amid gusty, arid weather.
At least six injuries have been reported, including a firefighter who dislocated a shoulder and another who was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation.
More than 23,000 residents from around 5,000 homes were under evacuation orders as of Thursday evening.
``We are nowhere near the end of this,'' county Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Ron Lane said.
``There are going to be more evacuations. There are thousands of homes that are within the path of (this fire), and every resident needs to take this very seriously and be prepared to take care of themselves and their families.''
Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency proclamation for San Diego county.
Authorities issued an initial mandatory evacuation order for all areas south of state Route 76, west of Interstate15, north of Gopher Canyon Road and east of Mission Road/Vista Way. Among the evacuated sites were Bonsall High School, Sullivan Middle School and all neighborhoods along West Lilac Road.
Other sites under mandatory evacuation orders are:
-- Region south of Burma Road, east of Wilshire Road, north of North River Road and west of South Mission Avenue.
-- Area south of Reche Road, west of Interstate 15, east of Green Canyon Road and South Mission Road, and north of state Route 76.
-- Region south of Reche Road, north of Burma Road, east of the Camp Pendleton Eastern Fence Line and west of Green Canyon Road.
-- Area south of N. River Road, north of Bobier Drive, east of Melrose and N. Santa Fe and west of E. Vista Way.
-- Region south of Camp Pendleton Eastern Fence Line, north of N. River Road, west of Wilshire Road and east of Douglas Drive.
Residents of other nearby communities were advised to seriously consider retreating to safer areas as a precaution.
Firefighters in northern San Diego County battle the Lilac fire. Photos: Getty Images
Wind-Whipped Fire Tears Across North County
Fire officials say they're working on knocking down the Skirball Fire which has already burned 475 acres and is 20 percent contained.
Fire officials say their main job today will be to prevent the eastward expansion of the blaze that has already destroyed four homes, damaged 12 others, and prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents in the area.
Evacuation orders covered a large area bounded by Mulholland Drive to the north, Sunset Blvd to the south, the 405 to the west, and Roscomare Road on the east. The Bel-Air Crest housing development was not under evacuation orders according to fire officials.
The fire started early Wednesday morning along Mulholland Drive and prompted a rush hour closure that turned the major traffic artery into a parking lot. Several videos of the fire have gone viral with people comparing the early morning fire to scenes from the apocalypse.
Getty officials say art buffs shouldn't be concerned about the priceless art within the Getty Center. Ron Hartwig, the Vice President of Communications for the museum says an air filtration system kicked on this morning after the fire broke out. The sophisticated air system forces air out of the museum, pumping in air that's cleaned and kept at a certain humidity to help preserve the billions in priceless art.
Skirball Fire Burns 475 Acres, Destroyed 4 Homes, Damages 12 Others
The Thomas Fire
The Thomas Fire broke out Monday evening in Ventura County and by Thursday evening, had spread to 132,000 acres. Fire officials say more than 425 structures have been destroyed and another 85 were damaged by the firestorm. Another 12,000 more structures are currently threatened according to fire officials. The fire is ten percent contained as of Friday morning.
More than 50,000 people in 15,000 homes were evacuated from the area after the fire started on Monday night. The blaze continued to rage out of control thanks to some strong Santa Ana winds that had the National Weather Service debuting a new color for windspeeds.
Much of the county was under evacuation orders, a list of which you can find below:
City of Santa Paula - Boundary of Say Road north to Thomas Aquinas, Dickenson Ranch Road east to Santa Paula Creek
Santa Paula unincorporated area, east of Santa Paula Creek, north of highway 126, west of Hall Road to Timber Canyon Road
City of Santa Paula - Boundary of Monte Vista Street north to city limits, Foothill Road from Steckel to Peck Road to north of city limits
Santa Paula unincorporated area towards Ventura- North of Foothill Road from Peck Road to Wells Road including: Wheeler Canyon, Aliso Canyon and Rancho Vista
City of Ventura - Teloma east to Brent Street, Telegraph Road north to north of Foothill Road
City of Ventura - Victoria Road east to Hill Road, Telegraph Road north to Foothill Road
City of Ventura - North Ashwood Avenue east to Hill Road, Telegraph Road north to Foothill Road
City of Ventura - North of Foothill Road from Wells Road to Poli Street
City of Ventura - North of Main Street from Seward Avenue to Hwy 33 (includes entire Ventura Avenue area)
Oak View - Boundary of Hwy 33, Creek Road and Hermosa Road
Meiners Oaks - North of E. El Roblar between Rice Road and Hwy 33
Entire Community of Casitas Springs - Evacuate to Ventura County Fairgrounds - 10 West Harbor Blvd., Ventura
East Ojai Valley - Carne Road east to McAndrew Road, Reeves Road north to Thacher Road
Ojai - North of Grand Ave east of Mercer Avenue west of Carne Road and South of the Gridley Trail
Upper Ojai Valley - Hwy 150 from Dennison Grade east to Osborne Road and all residences north
Upper Ojai Valley (West) - Hwy 33 - Matilija Canyon
Ventura County North Coast Area - Boundary of Hwy 33 on the north to Casitas Vista Road, northwest to Hwy 150, Hwy 150 (Casitas Pass Road) west to US 101 and south on US 101 (including Pacific Coast Highway) to Emma Wood State Beach
Thomas Fire Burns 132,000 Acres, Over 400 Homes Destroyed
A second fire broke out outside Los Angeles Tuesday morning, threatening homes near Sylmar and Lakeview Terrace. Residents scrambled to escape the heavy smoke as more than 15,000 acres were burned over the last few days.
L.A. Mayor Garcetti said more than 30 structures have been lost as a result of the Creek Fire. Five homes, 10 outbuildings were destroyed, and another eight homes and seven outbuildings were damaged according to Cal Fire.
More than 1,700 firefighters from different agencies from all over the region were deployed on Thursday against the blaze.
Red-flag parking restrictions will be lifted at 8 a.m. today.
Three firefighters suffered minor injuries on Tuesday.
Families who have been affected by the closures can go to special centers set up by the LAUSD. The centers will be open between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. today and Saturday, with meals will be available for students, at:
-- Byrd Middle School, 8501 Arleta Ave. in Sun Valley;
-- Reseda High School, 18230 Kittridge St. in Reseda; and
-- Palms Middle School, 10860 Woodbine St. in Palms.
Cal State Northridge classes have been canceled because of high winds and smoke in the San Fernando Valley has affected air quality and traffic conditions around the campus.
The fire closed a portion of the Foothill (210) Freeway, but it was reopened Wednesday afternoon, some freeway ramps remained closed according to the California Highway Patrol.
Creek Fire 20 Percent Contained, Over 15,000 Acres Burned
Rye Canyon Fire
A third fire broke out near Rye Canyon Loop in Santa Clarita at around 9:30 Tuesday morning and quickly burned more than 7,000 acres. As of Friday morning, that fire was 35 percent contained.
One structure was destroyed by the blaze and more than 5,000 more were under threat. Fire officials say they're bracing for a weeklong battle with Cal Fire predicting full containment by next Friday.
One injury, a firefighter, was airlifted to a burn center for treatment authorities said. There was no update on his condition.
All evacuations and road closures that were issued as result of the fire have been lifted. The College of the Canyons evacuation site has been deactivated fire officials said.
The Disaster Distress Helpline, a 24-hour national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling is available for residents affected by the fires at (800) 985-5990.
Rye Fire 35 Percent Contained, More Than 7,000 Acres Burned
Tune into KFI for the latest on the fires burning around the Southland.