CALIFORNIA — Three massive fast-growing and Santa Ana wind-driven wildfires are sweeping across areas of Los Angeles, putting over 100,000 residents under mandatory evacuation, burning dozens of houses, and has already claimed a life.
The biggest—the Saddleridge Fire, by Porter Ranch and Santa Clarita, which started Thursday night–has already burned over 8,000 acres and is scorching at an explosive rate of 800 acres an hour.
At this time, the LA Fire Department says containment slow due to continuous high winds and dry conditions. One person has reportedly died from cardiac arrest, as a direct result of the fires.
The second fire is the Sandalwood fire in Riverside and San Bernardino County which started mid-afternoon on Thursday. This 7,500-acre fire has burned over 70 homes, and is still at less than 20 percent containment.
And the latest flareup is the El Sereno fire, which is burning just a few miles from Downtown Los Angeles. This fire is burning aggressively, fanned by 70-mile per hour gusty winds.
These photos and video, taken by a Filipino American resident of the area, were taken early morning. It shows how close the flames are to residential roads and homes.
Joe Arciaga, who lives a couple of miles from the fire line, says he and his family have been on full alert—ready for whatever may happen.
“It was hard to sleep last night because of all the fire trucks and police cars going up and down the street where I live. The air is pretty acrid right now. This is a reality for us Filipino Americans here living in the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley
Many of the major freeways — the 5, 210, 118 and dozens of local roads — have been shutdown. School districts in the area have also announced school cancelations, urging families to head to safety.
The powerful Santa Ana winds, gusting at over 70 miles an hour, also caused the fires in Fontana and Calimesa yesterday. Those fires torched over 70 homes and burned over 500 acres.
Fire officials say they are hopeful that by the weekend, with the forecast of increased humidity and moderate temperatures may help them contain the fire.
But for now, the battle to save homes and lives continues.