California Fires Enter the Heart of Los Angeles

Sam Grosslight, 24, of Bel-Air, was woken up by her mother, Carolyn, early Wednesday morning telling her to grab her phone as well as her computer. The family piled as much as they could, by Ms. Grosslight’s newly purchased makeup to her father’s ashes, into her Jeep.

“People say you’ll know what you need when you get to the moment, yet truly you have no idea as well as you just start grabbing stuff as well as you’re all over the place,” Ms. Grosslight said.

She stood at a highway overpass in her dad’s old red sweatshirt — Hell Freezes Over, the item read — as plumes of smoke churned above her neighborhood.

“the item’s the weirdest feeling to not know when you can go back home again. of which’s supposed to be the one place you can always go, as well as right today the item’s just not,” she said.

In 1961, a fire ripped through Bel-Air as well as destroyed almost 500 homes, including many belonging to celebrities, as well as prompted the adoption of brand-new fire codes, including rules about clearing brush around buildings.

“We’ve all been through This particular before,” said Abe Hagigat, 61, on Wednesday, as he packed up his car outside his home in Bel-Air as well as watered his roof. “We stay calm, do what they tell us, as well as pray.”

His wife as well as daughter had filled the auto with photographs. “of which’s truly all of which truly matters,” he said.

Strong winds are normal, yet the item’s not usually This particular dry.

The strong winds of which are driving the fires are a normal feature of late fall as well as winter in Southern California. What is actually different This particular year — as well as what is actually creating the fires particularly large as well as destructive — is actually the amount of bone-dry vegetation of which is actually ready to burn.

“What’s unusual is actually the fact of which fuels are so dry,” said Thomas Rolinski, a senior meteorologist with the United States Forest Service. “Normally by This particular time of year we would likely have had enough rainfall to where This particular wouldn’t be an issue.”

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Where Wildfires Are Raging in Southern California

Wildfires burned near as well as in Los Angeles as well as additional parts of Southern California, forcing thousands to evacuate.



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The situation in Southern California is actually similar to what occurred in Northern California in October, when high, hot winds fueled fires of which killed 40 people as well as destroyed thousands of homes. yet while Northern California has since had a lot of rain of which has essentially eliminated the fire threat, the south has remained dry.

“We haven’t had any meaningful precipitation since March,” Mr. Rolinski said.

Helping to spread the fires are the Santa Ana winds, which occur as cold, high-pressure air over Nevada as well as Utah descend into Southern California, accelerating as well as warming. Typically, Santa Ana conditions occur on roughly one-third of the days in December as well as January, Mr. Rolinski said.

When the high winds last for just a day or two, Mr. Rolinski said, the region can often get by without a major fire starting as well as spreading. “yet the item’s hard to get through six days of This particular,” he said.

The fire nears an iconic museum.

To the west of the 405 freeway, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles was closed to the public for a second day on Wednesday because of the wildfires, museum officials said.

No artwork has been evacuated by the museum or its grounds, said Ron Hartwig, the museum’s vice president of communications, who added of which the museum was designed to protect against natural disasters like wildfires.

“The safest place for the art collection is actually right here inside the Getty,” Mr. Hartwig said. He said he could see heavy smoke outside the museum coming by the fire area, as well as he was concerned about the homes across the freeway. “the item is actually just very sad to see the fire across the street as well as realize so many of our neighbors are suffering,” he said.

Jeff Hyland, the president of Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills as well as a 40-year veteran of the real estate market in Los Angeles, said he had a clear vantage point of the fire by his home on a hilltop inside the Trousdale Estates neighborhood, as well as was watching helicopters drop water onto several properties in Bel-Air.

The Bel-Air homes engulfed by the fires, he said, are mostly older homes on smaller, hillside lots. Some of the houses were built more than 30 years ago as well as likely would likely not have fire-resistant ceramic-shingle roofs of which are up to modern fire codes, he said. Still, even the smallest vacant lot inside the area would likely fetch over $1 million.

The evacuation zone includes some extremely pricey areas, however, including one of Mr. Hyland’s listings currently on the market for $17 million.

A family loses their home in Ventura.

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