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Getty Fire: Southern California gets red-flag warning

A firefighter looks at the Getty FireImage copyright
EPA

Image caption

The Getty Fire has already burned through 658 acres

A fire in southern California has prompted a rare “extreme red-flag warning”.

Issued by the Los Angeles weather service, the alert covers Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.

Winds are already nearing 70mph (113km/h) and there is concern they will fan the Getty fire, which has already burned through 658 acres.

A number of wildfires have erupted in California over the past week leading to mass evacuations and power cuts.

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Some 1,100 firefighters are tackling the Getty fire and thousands of structures are at risk, authorities say.

At least eight homes have been destroyed and five others damaged in the Getty Fire, named for the art collection close by. About 15% of the fire has been contained.

Winds are expected pick up early on Wednesday and continue into Thursday, with forecasters warning that they could hit their highest speeds of the season.

“This Santa Ana wind event will likely be the strongest we have seen so far this season,” the weather service said.

“These strong winds, combined with a long duration of single-digit humidities and dry fuels, will likely bring very critical fire weather conditions, making this an extreme red-flag warning event.”

Image copyright
Reuters

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The Getty Fire burns next to a motorway in the hills of Los Angeles

Image copyright
Reuters

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This horse was given a saline breathing treatment during its evacuation from the separate Kincade fire, further north

On Tuesday fire chief Ralph M Terrazas said he was very concerned by the threats the winds posed.

“It does take one ember, just one ember downwind, to start another brush fire,” he told reporters – adding that embers have been known to travel several miles in winds.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the 7,000-plus residents evacuated so far should not plan on returning home until conditions were safe.

Basketball star LeBron James and actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger are among those who have evacuated their homes.

On Tuesday, James sent a taco truck to feed a number of firefighters tackling the Getty Fire.

Image Copyright @MayorOfLA
@MayorOfLA


Twitter post by @MayorOfLA: Thank you, @KingJames, for generously sending a taco truck to support our @LAFD firefighters, first responders, and partner agencies working to fight the #GettyFire. Image Copyright @MayorOfLA
@MayorOfLA

The Getty Center, which houses a large art collection, is also at risk.

The museum said in a tweet that the art was “protected by a state-of-the-art technology” and that the safest place for it was inside.

Authorities say the Getty Fire was probably caused by a tree branch falling on power lines in the high winds.

Media captionSan Francisco firefighters tackle fire overnight

What about the other fires?

The Kincade Fire in northern California has burned through more than 75,000 acres.

Thousands of people have been left without power as companies shut off electricity to prevent a further outbreak of fires.

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@CALFIRELNU


Twitter post by @CALFIRELNU: Good-morning from the #kincadefire Crews are briefing on todays operations. Image Copyright @CALFIRELNU
@CALFIRELNU

Currently, only about 30% of the fire is contained. Over 80,000 homes are still threatened by the blaze.

A new fire broke out on Wednesday morning in the Simi Valley area of Ventura County.

Dubbed the Easy Fire, it has burned through 400 acres thus far and is now encroaching on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Media captionSmoke from Kincade Fire seen from space

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