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30 horses killed as wildfires consume 83000 acres near LA

30 horses killed as wildfires consume 83000 acres near LA

It jumped Highway 101 and was burning Wednesday in and around the city of Ventura, forcing the evacuations of 50,000 people, Cal Fire officials said.

UPDATE: (5:50 a.m.) Fire now burning 50 acres.

The Skirball Fire started near the 405 Freeway and Mulholland Drive just before 5 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said.

Estimated at 50 acres and fueled by 25 miles per hour winds, the blaze was expected to grow, Los Angeles authorities told the newspaper. All North Bound lanes of the 405 are closed in the area.

"If a circuit is turned off, then it will not be re-energized until wind speeds have been reduced and the circuit has been assessed, which may include a physical inspection", the statement said. Officials said the fire has destroyed at least 150 buildings, including an evacuated mental health facility.

Earlier a wildfire in a wealthy western area of Los Angeles reached an estate and winery owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

A red-flag warning, which is for extreme weather conditions that could cause wildfires, is in effect until 8 p.m. PT Friday.




The blaze, which was reported at 4:52 a.m. Wednesday on the east side of the San Diego (405) Freeway near Mulholland Drive and prompted a morning rush hour closure of the freeway in the Sepulveda Pass, was estimated to have scorched at least 475 acres, Hogan said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared a local state of emergency in response to the Skirball Fire, requesting state and federal assistance.

"It's been years since anything here has burned at all", Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Cody Weireter said. The Getty hugs the 405 freeway, a major Californian artery.

The Conejo Valley Unified School District is closing all schools.

"We don't have a good feel on which direction this fire is heading", Stewart said.

UCLA has also announced that it has canceled classes for Thursday. Santa Monica-Malibu schools are all closed, in addition to most private schools in the area such as John Thomas Dye and Buckley.

Hundreds of firefighters, six fixed-wing aircraft and a number of helicopters were deployed quickly to the fire, a departure from the firefights in Sylmar, Santa Clarita and Ventura, where gusty Santa Ana winds kept crews on the ground.


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