Thousands of people in Southern California were forced to evacuate their homes this week as wind-whipped wildfires continued to blaze across Ventura County.
Officials said that the “Thomas Fire,” which started Monday about 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, has now caused at least 50,000 people to evacuate, destroyed at least 150 structures and scorched roughly 132,000 acres so far. About 15,000 additional structures are threatened by the wildfire as well, according to officials.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown. As of Friday afternoon, it was only 10 percent contained, Fox News reported.
No fatalities have been confirmed yet, Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said Tuesday. One unnamed firefighter has reportedly been injured and three others were burned, the Los Angeles Times reported.
What’s more, the “Skirball Fire” erupted Wednesday, burning at least 500 acres so far and threatening many of the multimillion-dollar homes in Los Angeles’ Bel-Air neighborhood, Reuters reported.
“Latest CA Wildfire Stats: Fires: 6 Acres: 141,000 Personnel: 8,700 Evacuated: 212,000 Homes threatened: 25,660 Structures destroyed: over 500
#RyeFire #SkirballFire #ThomasFire #CreekFire #LilacFire #LibertyFire”
Latest CA Wildfire Stats:
Homes threatened: 25,660
Structures destroyed: over 500#RyeFire #SkirballFire #ThomasFire #CreekFire #LilacFire #LibertyFire pic.twitter.com/6vJNtvYilc
— CAL FIRE PIO (@CALFIRE_PIO) December 8, 2017
President Trump tweeted about the wildfires on Wednesday, writing:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of California’s wildfires. I encourage everyone to heed the advice and orders of local and state officials. THANK YOU to all First Responders for your incredible work!”
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of California’s wildfires. I encourage everyone to heed the advice and orders of local and state officials. THANK YOU to all First Responders for your incredible work! https://t.co/g9y9PkB352
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2017
President Donald J. Trump Approves California Emergency Declaration
Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that an emergency exists in the State of California and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from wildfires beginning on December 4, 2017, and continuing.
The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. This action will help alleviate the hardship and suffering that the emergency may inflict on the local population, and provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide, at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.
Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Mark Armstrong as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT THE FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@FEMA.DHS.GOV.
Horses killed in California wildfires
YouTube video courtesy of CNN
Ventura County wildfire doubles in size in 24 hours
YouTube video courtesy of Fox News