Catastrophic winds set stage for more fires, more destruction Thursday

Catastrophic winds set stage for more fires, more destruction Thursday

Some 30 structures were destroyed by the Creek Fire as of Tuesday evening, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Almost 200,000 people have been told to evacuate.

The National Weather Service expects conditions to last throughout the week.

Around 27,000 people in southern California have been forced to leave their homes because of wildfires.

But roadways remain closed throughout the region.

Simultaneously, other wildfires are blazing in different parts of the Southland including the 65,000-acre Thomas fire in Ventura County, the 11,000-acre Creek fire near Sylmar and Lake View Terrace and the 7,000-acre Rye fire in Santa Clarita area, ABC7 reported.

"Strong winds over night creating extreme fire danger", said an alert sent by the countrywide emergency system in Los Angeles.

For more on the fires breaking out across Southern California, go here.

A fire alert flag flies in the wind at the headquarters of Irvine Regional Park in Orange as Santa Ana winds continue to blow early Tuesday morning December 5, 2017.

"We are losing some property and that is tragic, but the most important thing is peoples' lives", said City Councilman Paul Koretz. A black sky surrounded by fire and ash covered the region as firefighters worked tirelessly at the scene.

Hundreds of firefighters battled flames on the ground as aircraft dropped water and retardant near neighborhoods on the east side of the pass. Commuter traffic snarled in the pass and beyond.

Officials have still not stated what caused the fire, but some said the ongoing drought has left the area "ripe for spreading" and likely to get a whole lot bigger. It is one of two fires in Los Angeles that's destroying homes and forcing residents to find safety.

Fire Department spokesman Margaret Stewart says the fire was reported at 4:52 a.m. Wednesday and is burning uphill, driven by topography rather than winds.

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.

Air tankers that had been grounded much of the week because of high winds flew on Wednesday, dropping flame retardant.

Commanders hoped to have them back in the air on Wednesday morning, but all indications are the winds will be whipping then too.

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