California wildfires death: ONE DEAD as fires blaze around Los Angeles | World | News

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Wildfires burning in the Sylmar neighbourhood of Los Angeles have forced thousands of people to flee the region. The rapid blazes are ravaging 4,700 acres north of Los Angeles in California. The Saddleridge fire has led to a mandatory evacuation of around 25,000 homes, some of which have been destroyed by the monstrous flames.

The victim was a man, in his 50s, who died of a cardiac arrest as he attempted to fight the fire.

The fires erupted just days after power cuts were ordered across the state in a bid to prevent wildfires.

The state’s largest utility company this week pulled the plug on at least 700,000 customers to prevent wildfires sparked by windblown power lines.

The fires are moving at a fast-moving rate of around 800 acres per hour, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

READ MORE: California fires 2018 – firefighting prisoners branded “modern SLAVES”

The wild blazes have been fuelled by strong winds, warm temperatures and low humidity in the region.

By 10am local time (6pm BST) on Friday, the fire had spread more than seven square miles, burning at least 25 homes and forcing the closure of several freeways.

Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas told reporters: “This is a very dynamic fire. Do not wait to leave.”

The most recent fires are among 275 wildfires that have broken out so far this year and have come one year after the deadliest and most destructive fire season ever recorded in California.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag fire condition warnings for Los Angeles and Ventura counties, cautioning of wind gusts of up to 75mph in the mountains and 55mph by the coasts.

Officials have said that dry and windy weather conditions could hinder efforts to contain the fires.

The Saddleridge fire first started on Thursday night in the San Fernando Valley and since that time has spread into neighbouring northern parts of the city.

The cause of the fires remains ambiguous, but there are now several fires burning across southern California.

In total, around 100,000 people have been evacuated so far.

The Sandalwood wildfire, named after a local landmark, was 10 percent contained as of Thursday night.

Several schools and colleges have been closed in the area as a result of the fires.

The Sandalwood blaze was started by a garbage truck in Calimesa, a city around 70 miles east of Los Angeles which has spread to 500 acres and destroyed 74 structures, according to officials.

Wildfires are common to California, and so far there are at least eight fires which California Firefighters are responding to.

The largest of these is Briceburg Fire which appears to be at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

It is relatively far from major population hubs but is widespread in terms of impact – impacting almost 5,000 acres.

As of yesterday fire officials said that the fire was around 28 percent contained.



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