Multiple wildfires are raging across Southern California—helped by Santa Ana winds—forcing thousands to evacuate and leaving thousands more without power.
In Ventura County, firefighters are battling the Thomas fire, "which burned 45,000 acres, destroyed at least 150 structures and forced 27,000 people to evacuate," according to the Los Angeles Times. The fire broke out Monday evening, near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula.
The Rye fire in Santa Clarita erupted Tuesday morning, and 200 firefighters are currently battling the blaze, according to the Times. Local radio station KHTS Radio reported that the Rye fire has burned 500 acres and forced closures on both sides of Interstate 5. Evacuations in the area, including of several schools, were also underway.
A third fire, known as the Creek fire, is burning in the Angeles National Forest above Sylmar. Around 700 firefighters are working to contain the Creek fire that broke out early Tuesday morning and has prompted evacuations in the area.
All the fires are being pushed by intense dry winds across Southern California, which are expected to last until Thursday evening. "This will likely be the strongest and longest duration Santa Ana wind event we have seen so far this season," according to the National Weather Service. "If fire ignition occurs, there will be the potential for very rapid fire spread, long range spotting, and extreme fire behavior."
Los Angeles officials have urged residents to stay indoors and limit exercise due to unhealthy air. "The unhealthy air quality has been declared in portions of the San Fernando Valley, Lake View Terrace, Sylmar, Malibu and Santa Monica," the Times reports.
For images of the damage caused by these wildfires, view the photo gallery above.