US & Canada

California fires: More blazes sparked in Los Angeles area

Firefighters work to control the flames in the North Park neighbourhood if San Bernardino, California Image copyright Getty Images

More fires have broken out in southern California, setting thousands of acres ablaze, amid a state-wide emergency.

For the past two weeks, extreme weather conditions, including hurricane-force gusts, have sparked fires and forced thousands of people from their homes.

In the northern regions, over 77,000 acres of wine country burned before winds began to die down.

In the south, firefighters are hoping to be able to contain the fires as winds ease into the weekend.

Embers fly through the air as a home burns during the Hillside Fire in the North Park district of San Bernardino, California, on 31 October Image copyright AFP

On Halloween, the Hillside Fire began burning in the San Bernardino valley area, east of Los Angeles .

A man watches his neighbours's home burn from his front porch during the Hillside fire Image copyright AFP

A man wearing a mask watched his neighbour's home burn in the North Park district of San Bernardino.

Matthew Valdivia looks for personal objects among the ashes of his home at Viento Way bear San Bernardino, California, on 31 October Image copyright AFP

The Hillside Fire has burned at least six homes and damaged 18 since Thursday.

A firefighter sprays down the smouldering remains of a home during the Hillside Fire in the North Park near San Bernardino, California Image copyright AFP
A long exposure photo shows the Maria fire as it races across a hillside in Santa Paula Image copyright AFP

A fire also started on Thursday in Ventura County, north-west of Los Angeles. It has consumed 8,000 acres as of Friday morning. Mandatory evacuations are in place for 7,500 residents.

Firefighters work to control flames from a backfire during the Maria fire in Santa Paula, California on 1 November 2019 Image copyright AFP

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, nearly 200,000 acres have burned thus far in 2019 in 6,190 fire incidents, and 698 buildings and homes have been destroyed or damaged.

Firefighters work to control flames from a backfire during the Maria fire in Santa Paula, California on 1 November Image copyright AFP

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A home burns after winds push the Hillside fire down a hill to engulf homes in San Bernardino Image copyright Getty Images

In recent days the flames were fanned by dry winds known as "Santa Ana wind". Some reached hurricane speed of up to 78mph (125km/h).

A car burns in a garage during the Hillside fire in the North Park, San Bernardino, California Image copyright AFP

The Easy Fire, which began burning in the same region on Wednesday, is 60% contained. The blaze had threatened the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which is due to open again on Friday.

Woman rescues a chicken from a ranch near the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley during the Easy Fire in Simi Valley, California on October 30, 2019. Image copyright Getty Images

Some save livestock as the fire raged near the presidential library.

In northern California's wine region, the Kincade Fire is 65% contained. Over 160 homes have been destroyed by the blaze since it began on 23 October.

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Media captionSan Francisco firefighters tackle fire overnight

This week, around 1.1m homes were without power as utility company Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) cut power as a fire prevention measure. Power has now been restored to most of the homes, the company told local media.

Hundreds of thousands of others could still see power cuts this weekend, depending on weather conditions and fires in the south.

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