Brown said the Lilac Fire has threatened thousands of structures and critical infrastructure and caused the evacuation of residents. Jerry Brown, President Donald Trump today, December 8, declared a state of emergency in Southern California, ordering federal assistance to help fight a string of wildfires ravaging the region.
Two more blazes broke out Thursday in Southern California, bringing the total number of fires to six and the number of acres scorched to 117,000, fire officials said. As of 2:35 p.m., it was 2,500 acres in size with zero containment.
A contingent of about 700 firefighters from various area agencies was working to control the blaze as of late Thursday, Cal Fire Deputy Chief Dave Nissen said. But Santa Ana conditions are expected to persist through the weekend. "This is that worst-case scenario that we prepare for but hope doesn't happen". Two fixed-wing aircraft were also deployed to help in the relief efforts, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, according to KABC. "But they are also days that show the resilience of our city". One structure and one outbuilding were destroyed, the Riverside County Fire Department reported. Additionally, the Skirball Fire, affecting homes in the Bel Air and Brentwood neighborhoods, has consumed over 50 acres.
There will be calm conditions along the coast but wind speeds will be moderate to strong along the foothills and mountains in the East County.
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The blaze dubbed the Lilac Fire erupted about 11:15 a.m. amid gusty, arid weather just west of Interstate 15 and north of Lilac Road in Pala Mesa.
Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said officials found the bodyof a woman near the site of a vehicle crash within the Thomas Fire area, though her cause of death was unclear.
Between 400 and 600 firefighters from 52 units were battling the blaze Thursday.
Authorities said the fire's slower pace overnight could be attributed in large part to weakening winds and elevated humidity levels in the 15- to 25- percent range. At least four houses were destroyed, while 12 others were damaged, according to the LAFD, KABC reported. About 700 homes were evacuated.
The fire has not been contained.