Entire lives wiped out at random: Wild winds fan 'out of control' 45,500-acre-fire across Southern California, randomly destroying some homes as neighboring plots survive unscathed and forcing 27,000 into evacuation
- Flames from a 45,500-acre-wildfire have engulfed some homes and left others unscathed in Ventura
- Fire officials say strong winds have spread the flames at random, burning 150 structures early Tuesday
- More than 260,000 residents are without power and 27,000 have been forced to evacuate their homes
- Officials say they expect the so-called Thomas Fire to burn at least 50,000 acres before it gets under control
- About 500 firefighters are battling the blaze with fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters prepared to launch
- A motorist was originally reported to be killed bu,t on Tuesday,?authorities said no fatalities were confirmed
- Fire officials said the intensity?of the fire and the high winds have made the blaze pretty much unstoppable
Flames from a 45,500-acre-wildfire have been spreading randomly from strong winds leaving some homes burned to the ground and other homes untouched.
Live video feed from the brush fire that erupted in Ventura County, 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles, on Monday, showed houses completely consumed by flames sitting next to houses that were left unscathed.
The Ventura County Fire Department warned residents early on Tuesday that powerful Santa Ana winds - which carry hot and extremely dry air from inland, and gust from 40mph to 60mph - would increase the blaze's destruction.
The inferno, known as the Thomas Fire, has forced 27,000 residents to evacuate and hundreds of homes are expected to be consumed before the fire is brought under control.?
In the first 10 hours, the fire grew from 50 acres to 31,000 acres at a burn rate of approximately one acre per second.
More than 260,000 residents have been without power and 150 structures have so far been destroyed during the blaze, which is at zero percent containment.??
Before dawn on Tuesday, officials issued an update that the fire was 'out of control'.
Flames from a 45,500-acre-wildfire have been spreading randomly from strong winds leaving some homes burned to the ground and other homes untouched?
Live video feed from the brush fire that erupted in Ventura County, 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles, on Monday, showed houses completely consumed by flames sitting next to houses that were left unscathed
The flames of a wildfire burn inces a way from a home in Ventura on Tuesday. The fire has burned a psychiatric hospital and dozens of other structures
Mobile homes burn during the 'Thomas Fire' which began on Monday night and continued into Tuesday in Santa Paula, California
Wind gusts of 70mph helped the blaze spread to about 45,500 acres with zero percent containment overnight
Smoke rose into the night sky as strong winds pushed the Thomas Fire to Santa Paula and Ventura early Tuesday
Firefighters work to battle the blaze (left and right) as the Thomas Fire' continues to burn. In the first 10 hours, the fire had already burned 31,000 acres
More than 27,000 residents were forced to evacuate as the fire pushed into the city limits of Ventura early Tuesday?
The burned remains of crashed cars are seen at night on a country road as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres
The inferno grew from 50 acres to 31,000 acres in just 10 hours at a burn rate of nearly an acre per second
The Ventura County wildfire, which has spread across 45,500 acres, is seen from space
Greg Smith stands amid the ruins of his home on Tuesday after the Thomas Fire swept through Ventura
Officials say they expect at least 50,000 acres to burn before firefighters are able to control the blaze
A man covers his nose and mouth with his hood and watches as a wildfire burns at daybreak on Tuesday in Ventura, California
Ventura policemen rush to check a home in a burning neighborhood as strong winds carry a wildfire into the city limits
An apartment complex burns as the Thomas Fire continues to rage on Tuesday in Ventura, California?
Smoke rises behind a leveled apartment complex and several burned out cars on Tuesday morning?
A skateboarder passes as a thick plume of smoke rises from a smoldering home on Tuesday morning?
About 500 firefighters are battling the blaze and fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters were prepared to launch on Tuesday morning.
Among the buildings destroyed were the Hawaiian Village apartment complex and the Vista del Mar behavioral health care center, with everyone managing to get out safely.?
Fire officials said that because of intensity of the fire and the high winds, the blaze is pretty much unstoppable.
'The prospects for containment are not good,' Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said at a news conference, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. 'Really, Mother Nature is going to decide.'
Local resident Melissa Grisales told ABC 7 in Los Angeles: 'We got my kids out first. Pretty scary, really. I didn't think it was going to come to that, but I am starting to get pretty concerned.'
Ventura County fire officials originally reported on Monday that a motorist had been killed as thousands of households rushed to escape the flames.
However, around 6am on Tuesday, authorities said no fatalities were confirmed.??One firefighter was hit by a car while he was battling the flames and is currently at the hospital being evaluated.?
Photographs from the scene showed burned out cars at the side of the road and the remaining frames of houses, stores and apartment complexes as the fire spread.
Daybreak saw residents and police officers alike walking through heavy plumes of smoke as firefighters continued to battle the inferno.?
The terrifying blaze in California (pictured) has left 260,000 houses without power?
The huge fire was stoked by wind gusts of up to 70mph (115kph) that were expected to remain in the area along with low humidity through the week?
Brave firefighters battled the fierce blaze (pictured), which made its way to the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura
Thousands of residents were told to evacuate their homes. A motorist was believed to be killed escaping the blaze, but officials said on Tuesday that no deaths have been confirmed
It is not known what caused the fire but authorities are desperately trying to contain the blaze, which is sweeping across the state?
Dramatic photographs show that the blaze is spreading and has reached Santa?Paula, which is 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles?
Firefighters are continuing to battle a wind-driven brush fire, known as the Thomas Fire, which has spread over a staggering 45,500 acres
A firefighter arrived on the scene and used a hose to try and contain the fierce fire, which started on Monday night
Officials with SoCal Edison advised that residents should be prepared to be without power for days as crews worked to restore fire-ravaged lines
As of Tuesday morning, the fire was still at zero percent containment with conditions expected to worsen
Strong winds pushed the fire to the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura, where about 140,000 people live, Ventura County officials said.
Ventura County firefighter Jason Hodge told the Los Angeles Times: 'We're really just trying to catch it around the edges and just pinching it off as quickly as we possibly can.'
The fire was stoked by wind gusts of up to 70mph (115kph) that were expected to remain in the area along with low humidity through the week, according to the National Weather Service forecast.
About 390 students at Thomas Aquinas College were evacuated as a precaution, the school said on Twitter, and evacuation centers were opened at a high school and the county fairgrounds.
Officials with SoCal Edison advised that residents should be prepared to be without power for days as crews worked to restore fire-ravaged lines.?
The cause of the fire is unknown.?
California has been hit hard this year by fires. In October, more than a dozen wildfires broke out in Northern California's wine country, killing 40 people. A separate one quickly grew in Anaheim Hills, burning through thousands of acres.
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