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Wildfire shuts San Diego Freeway: Rush-hour nightmare as flames rage
07 December 2017, 01:36 | Sandy Nunez
Rupert Mudoch's winery is among the multi-million dollar properties under threat
Colossal flames, blinding smoke, and ash greeted commuters early Wednesday morning (Dec. 6), when a brush fire consumed the hills east of the 405 freeway, prompting mandatory evacuation orders and the complete closures of the popular roadway, according to ABC7. Officials said the fire has destroyed at least 150 buildings, including an evacuated mental health facility.
The area is in the vicinity of the devastating 1961 "Bel Air fire" that destroyed about 500 homes.
As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, an estimated 11,377 acres had burned and 2,500 structures were threatened, according to the U.S. Forest Service, which was fighting the fire in a unified command with the Los Angeles city and county fire departments. The museum had already announced Tuesday that it would be closed today due to smoke from other area fires.
"This fire is very risky and spreading rapidly, but we'll continue to attack it with all we've got", Brown said. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, as some 1,100 personnel continued to battle the blaze.
Sylmar resident Virginia Padilla, whose family owns a ranch in Sylmar, told NBC4 the fire killed at least 30 of the ranch's horses.
Another Ventura resident, Samantha Wells-Zuniga, escaped with her family and watched her apartment complex burn down. Kim said, "I pray everyone in Los Angeles is safe from these fires and THANK YOU to all of the fire fighters working so hard to keep everyone safe!"
Satellite images show how fast it lit up neighborhoods at night.
Southern California is suffering an outbreak of large wildfires, thanks in part to strong Santa Ana winds and dry conditions that are expected to persist through most of the week.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said they're trying to "stop this fire before it becomes something bigger" like the Bel Air fire of 1961. It remained unclear at the time what caused each wildfire.
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Strong wind expected through Monday night
The front will still be hanging out right on top of us Friday , with cooler air north and warmer air south. Sunday's high will climb into the upper 40s and Monday's high will dip a bit into the mid-40s.