A dead man in a gigantic forest fire near Los Angeles
A man wets the surroundings of his home while firefighters fight the flames in Santa Paula, California, on December 5, 2017
The firefighters battled this Tuesday against a gigantic forest fire that hits Southern California and left one dead, thousands of evacuees and more than 150 homes and businesses destroyed.
The fire department of Ventura, a county north of Los Angeles, reported that more than 27,000 left their homes to flee the blaze, which has already devastated 12,545 hectares in the area.
“The prospects of containing it are not good,” fire chief Mark Lorenzen said at a news conference Monday night. “The truth is that it will be mother nature that decides when we can turn it off.”
The national meteorological service indicated that the Santa Ana winds, up to 80 km / h, have ignited the fire.
According to Lorenzen, “the fire is spreading quickly towards the city of Ventura”, whose coastal area has a population of 100,000 people.
One person died when “his car overturned” while fleeing the fire, Lorenzen said.
The area’s electricity supplier company reported that 180,000 customers in Ventura and 83,000 in Santa Bárbara County had no electricity.
A firefighter observes the damage caused by flames in homes, during fires that ravage the Ventura area in California, on December 5, 2017
Some 500 Ventura firefighters fight the flames of the so-called Thomas Fire, which consumes dry grass.
“It’s weed that has not burned in 15 or 20 years, and we had five, six years of drought so a spark could set off a fire.”
The year 2017 has been the most lethal due to forest fires: more than 40 people died in the area of the vineyards in California in October.