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California fire weather less dire than predicted

08 December 2017

The blaze, which was reported at 4:52 a.m. Wednesday on the east side of the San Diego (405) Freeway near Mulholland Drive and prompted a morning rush hour closure of the freeway in the Sepulveda Pass, was estimated to have scorched at least 475 acres, Hogan said.

A wild rabbit got a hand from an animal lover evacuating from the fast spreading California wildfires Wednesday. The four-day old Thomas Fire had burned 115,000 acres and destroyed 439 buildings, damaging 85 others.

"But these are also days that show the resilience of our city", Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, thanking firefighters from Los Angeles and other agencies and all city personnel.

"You look from room to room, you see what makes your house a home, and you realize it's the people and the animals", she said.

California fire weather less dire than predicted
California fire weather less dire than predicted

Weather officials expect winds to pick up Wednesday night through Thursday, bringing "damaging" gusts of 50 to 70 miles per hour that could knock down trees and power lines, and cause fire to spread rapidly.

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

A cloud of black smoke was creeping across the city with a large, dark column rising into the air, leaving authorities concerned about the poor quality of air that was unbreathable in some places.

The Getty Center said on Twitter that its galleries are protected from the smoke by an air filtration system.

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The fire was burning in the same general area as the devastating Bel-Air Fire of 1961.

Dozens of schools were closed Wednesday, as was Santa Monica College.

When the Ventura fire broke out Monday evening, the winds were so strong that water-dropping aircraft were grounded and firefighters on the ground could not keep up with the pace of the flames.

Heavy winds could also cause the smaller fires in Bel-Air, Sylmar and Santa Clarita to grow more.

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However, mandatory evacuations in the area have been lifted. 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. So the risk of the fires spreading will remain high. The closure led to massive congestion on many streets in the San Fernando Valley and in West Los Angeles.

"We are in the beginning of a protracted wind event", said Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so".

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California fire weather less dire than predicted