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The California wildfires by the numbers

The California wildfires by the numbers

High temperatures, low humidity and blustery Santa Ana winds promise a unsafe medley for the mountainous region in the days to come, likely encouraging "extreme fire behavior [that] will continue to hamper control efforts", Cal Fire said in a Monday morning bulletin.

After a five-day siege, some Californians were finally able to return home to inspect the damage wrought by the wildfires, which forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee and destroyed some 700 structures including multimillion dollar mansions.

Warnings: A "red flag warning" for Los Angeles and Ventura counties has been extended into Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service said.

Some 98,000 people remain evacuated from their homes throughout Southern California, with 25,000 homes still threatened, Esseling said.

The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District says air quality is especially bad in the Ojai Valley, where it has at times reached hazardous levels as flames burned surrounding hillsides.

In a television interview on Sunday, California Governor Jerry Brown said that climate change meant that the state was becoming increasingly vulnerable and that wildfires were becoming the new normal in some parts. It started Monday in Ventura County, and has since spread into Santa Barbara County.

The 8,5000 firefighters battling the fires that have burned over the past week gained some ground on Saturday.

The blazes have destroyed almost 800 structures, and a 70-year-old woman died Wednesday in a auto accident as she attempted to flee the flames in Ventura County.

By Saturday morning, the Thomas fire had burned 148,000 acres.




Creek Fire: The second-largest blaze ignited Tuesday in neighboring Los Angeles County. Firefighters are making progress, with 93% of the blaze contained.

Brown issued emergency proclamations this week for Santa Barbara, San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The Skirball Fire has destroyed 422 acres and was 85 percent contained Monday morning.

Containment is way up on blazes in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties. It's 100 percent contained, but authorities are monitoring the fire because of a forecasted increase in winds. The fire swept through the area December 7, destroying trailer homes in the retirement community.

Montecito, described as a "seaside heaven" on the town's website, is an opulent area and home to celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Rob Lowe. "I'm praying for everyone in our community and thankful to all the incredible firefighters", DeGeneres said.

"Our house is under threat of being burned", DeGeneres wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

A spokesman for DeGeneres declined to provide any other details on Monday.

"Every where you go, you see people wearing the masks", said Schneider.

Firefighters from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington state are helping to fight the fires.

The Nevada Department of Corrections and Nevada Division of Forestry, which run conservation camps, have sent six trained crews of minimum security inmates to help.