Friday 20 July 2018

27,000 flee homes as California wildfire spreads

A man prepares to evacuate his home as a wildfire burns along a hillside near homes in Santa Paula, California. Photo: Getty Images
A man prepares to evacuate his home as a wildfire burns along a hillside near homes in Santa Paula, California. Photo: Getty Images

Rozina Sabur

At least 27,000 residents have been forced to flee their homes in the middle of the night as a rapidly spreading wildfire rips through southern California.

Nearly 8,000 homes were under mandatory evacuation in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles.

The Thomas Fire has already caused at least one death and power cuts throughout the area.

The blaze started on Monday evening and by early yesterday had burned 26,000 acres.

One motorist was killed in a traffic accident while trying to flee the fire.

More than 250,000 homes were without power and at least two buildings, including an apartment complex, were destroyed.

"We got my kids out first," Melissa Grisales told ABC7 in Los Angeles. "Pretty scary, really."

It is not the first time that the state has been badly hit in recent months - at least 40 people were killed when fires ripped through California's wine region in October.

Irish Independent

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