California wildfires roar out of control

The same brutal winds that turned three Southern California wildfires into destructive dynamos were also making the fire fight even more difficult. The planes that drop water and the helicopters essential to taming and containing wildfires have been mostly grounded because it is too dangerous to fly them in strong winds. On Tuesday, the wind gusts of were over 50 miles per hour. The commanders hoped to have them back in the air by Wednesday morning, but all indications were that the winds would be whipping then also resulting in the fanning of the flames that spurred evacuation orders for nearly 200,000 people, destroyed nearly 200 homes and remained mostly out control.

Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said at a news conference on Tuesday that the prospects for containment are not good at all. He also said that it is Mother's Nature who is going to decide when we will have the ability to put the fire out. The Santa Ana winds of Southern California have long contributed to some of the most disastrous wildfires of the region. They blow from inland towards the Pacific Ocean and gain a lot of speed as they squeeze through mountain passes and canyons.

The largest and most destructive of the fires which is an 85 square mile wildfire in Ventura County lying to the northwest of Los Angeles, had nearly reached the Pacific on the night of Tuesday after starting 30 miles inland the day before. The wildfire jumped a major artery from US Highway 101 to a rocky beach northwest of Ventura, resulting in new evacuations, though the officials said that the sparse population and lack of vegetation in the area prevented it from being more dangerous, and this is the reason that the highway was not closed. But still caution was urged.

The fire has resulted in the destruction of at least 150 structures, but incident commander Todd Derum said that he suspects hundreds more homes have already been lost, though fire fighters have been unable to assess them in the situation. Lisa Kermode and her children returned to their home on Tuesday after they were evacuated on Monday to find their home and world in ashes, including a Christmas tree and the presents they had just bought. Kermode said that they were extremely upset after coming back and they also said that they had lost everything. But firefighters in Ventura were able to save a Christmas tree that had years of a family's ornaments as their mansion burned. This is per the reports of CBS Los Angeles.

December 16, 2017 - 04:00
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