California battles second wave of wildfires

  • California battles second wave of wildfires

California battles second wave of wildfires

Mandatory evacuations were put into effect on Wednesday morning in Bel Air.

The 16-acre Moraga Vineyards estate has a Hollywood connection.

The winery, bought by Mr Murdoch for about 30 million dollars in 2013, has been evacuated. Dozens of schools in Ventura and Los Angeles counties were closed.

Edison, the state's electric grid operator, declared a local transmission emergency after the loss of high-voltage power lines serving the Ventura and Santa Barbara areas.

More than 1,000 firefighters are trying to battle the blaze but can not enter the area due to the intensity of the fire, county officials said.

The Associated Press reported that the evacuation orders affected around 200,000 people and that almost 200 homes had already been destroyed.

Inside Murdoch's property, Moraga Vineyards, a temperature-controlled wine storage shed burned after which firefighters tried to douse the flames but realised that it was not possible. "There will be no ability to fight fire in these kinds of winds". That fire has already claimed 150 structures but the incident commander, Todd Derum, told the Associated Press that he thinks hundreds of homes have likely been destroyed.

In the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the Creek Fire destroyed at least 30 homes, blackened more than 11,000 acres and forced the evacuation of 2,500 homes and a convalescent centre north of Interstate 210 on Tuesday.

No civilian casualties or fatalities have been reported.

Heavy winds that have helped the fires spread have also reportedly made it harder to tackle with some aircraft useful to fighting the flames having to be grounded thanks to the strong weather.

The wildfires raging through southern California have gotten personal for media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Deputy Fire Chief Charles Butler said firefighters and aircraft stopped the growth of the 475-acre blaze in the Bel Air neighbourhood.