Southern California Under Maximum Alert For Devastating Fires

Much of southern California is on high alert for fires that have already destroyed dozens of buildings, authorities said. A fire about 71 miles, about 115 kilometers, east of Los Angeles destroyed a mobile home camp in hot and windy conditions. At the moment, there are no reports of injuries.

More than 200 firefighters, supported by a helicopter, fight the flames, the fire department said on its website, adding that 74 buildings have been destroyed.

The authorities ordered that 1,900 houses in the area be evacuated. Meanwhile, another fire in northwest Los Angeles already affects some 650 hectares.


Los Angeles firefighters were not immediately available to comment on that front, called the Saddleridge fire, which covered parts of Sylmar and many other foothill communities.

“If you live in that area, pack and leave now,” a Los Angeles fire officer told the newspaper, while they called excavators, helicopters and other heavy equipment to help fight the fire that runs parallel to US Interstate 210.

Meteorologists have warned of strong winds and “extremely critical fire conditions” for Friday and state authorities have issued the maximum alert for fires.

More than half a million people in the state were left without power on Thursday after power companies cut off the power of some lines to prevent possible sparks in the cables causing fires similar to those that killed about 90 people last year.

A driver had to drop the trash he was carrying in his truck and leave them on the side of the road after they started burning, which caused the flames to spread, said the spokeswoman for the Riverside County Fire Department, April Newman, to the Los Angeles Times.

Millions of Californians have had no power for longer than 48 hours. They have been in the dark due to massive blackouts