Los Angeles threatened as wildfires continue to roar

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In addition to the Bel-Air fire, the Ventura County fire has forced at least 50,000 people to evacuate. Video footage of the flames can be seen here, as drivers captured the footage from their vehicles on the 405 near the affluent neighborhood of the City of Dreams, Bel-Air. Fire crews also fought large fires around Los Angeles, though they made enough progress to lift most evacuation orders.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said more than 230,000 people had evacuated Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The California Department of Transportation is providing an updated map that shows the locations of the areas affected by the fire.

By Thursday winds gusts should increase to around 30 to 50 miles per hour along with low humidity, "which means very, very dry conditions, very windy conditions. which is a recipe for explosive fire growth", Rich Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Wednesday evening.

Late Wednesday, fire officials ordered new evacuations affecting several thousand people as the massive Thomas fire encroached upon the the town of Ojai, an arts community with an upscale, rustic charm northwest of Los Angeles.

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

TRT World's Kerry Alexandra has this report.

In Bel-Air, that's exactly what they did.

About 500 firefighters were sent to battle the Skirball Fire, including 350 from the LAFD. A full list of closed schools was available at www.lausd.net.

A map issued by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services showed the status of six active fires in Southern California on Friday
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The Los Angeles Police Department is warning those in the area to cease using such apps.

The highway, which runs the length of the state and is a major commuter corridor to Los Angeles, was closed intermittently along the 28-mile (45-kilometer) stretch between Ventura and Santa Barbara.

It wasn't immediately known what sparked the fire next to State Highway 76, but strong winds carried it across six lanes to the other side.

Forecasters are calling for another afternoon of gusty winds, which will help fuel the fires on Wednesday.

The fire broke out Wednesday morning.

"The greatest threat is and continues to be the wind", he said, noting that the Santa Ana winds are expected to keep blowing through Friday.

Firefighters were also on the scene of the "Rye" fire - which had grown to 7,000 acres in the Santa Clarita area - as well as the "Creek" fire north of downtown Los Angeles that had grown to more than 11,000 acres.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over the area Tuesday, announcing: "This fire is very risky and spreading rapidly".

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