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06 Dec 06:34 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 12/5/2017, 12:00 AM until 12/9/2017, 11:59 PM (America/Los_Angeles). COUNTRY/REGION Ventura County, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside County, San Diego
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United States: Fires spread in southern California Dec. 6 /update 3

Wildfires spread throughout southern California December 6; Interstate 405 closed in Los Angeles county

Event

As of 09:00 (local time), on Wednesday, December 6, wildfires continued to ravage Ventura and Los Angeles counties in California. Over 65,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes. The fires have scorched over 330 square kilometers (130 square miles) of land so far, destroying at least 180 buildings. Furthermore, approximately 43,000 homes remain without electricity. While no fatalities have been reported, at least one firefighter has been injured in the blaze. Officials have not yet ascertained the cause of the fire.

The busy Interstate 405 has been shut down near Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles until further notice due to the encroaching wildfire; transportation disruptions are to be anticipated citywide.

A red warning for fires (the highest level) is currently in effect in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties through Thursday, December 7. Up-to-date information can be found on the website of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and on Ventura county’s website.

Context

On December 4, wildfires broke out in Southern California as a result of strong Santa Ana winds in the region. According to officials, the flames broke out east of Santa Paula, approximately 95 km (60 mi) northwest of Los Angeles.

Southern California generally experiences its worst wildfires between October and December, due to the increased strength of the Santa Ana winds. Rugged terrain and dry conditions - which have been exacerbated by years of drought - render it particularly difficult to contain fires in the region once they have broken out.

Advice

Individuals are advised to exercise caution when traveling in areas affected by the wildfires, to adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders), and to keep abreast of the situation. Individuals should anticipate transportation disruptions throughout the area.

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