Friday, 8 December 2017

US President Donald Trump declared State of emergency over southern California wildfires

US President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency in southern California, where wildfires have forced more than 200,000 people to flee their homes.
The fires have been roaring through canyons, hillsides and densely populated areas, including wealthy Bel Air, for four days.

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed and many schools in Los Angeles are closed.

Authorities fear that four major fires - ranging from LA up the Pacific coast to Santa Barbara County - may be whipped up by the region's notorious westward Santa Ana winds, which can reach hurricane strength.

The winds, which blow in hot and dry from the California desert, could reach 75mph and create "extreme fire danger", according to an alert from the countywide emergency system in Los Angeles.

The National Weather Service said high winds were not expected to die down until at least the end of Saturday.

The state of emergency frees up federal aid and kick-starts a chain of disaster relief efforts in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

No civilian casualties or deaths have been reported, but three firefighters have been injured, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

SKY        News.

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