The images of the fires, particularly in Ventura, are devastating and heartbreaking. Much like the footage Americans viewed with the recent historic flooding in Houston, many people are becoming victims of nature in mere moments and losing everything they have ever known.Below are scenes that provide a snapshot of the hell and lake of fire sweeping across southern California.

Beautiful & dangerous. Our drive along US 101 as we make our way from the  to a 5th fire now burning near the Getty. 

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

The intensity of the , plus the wind, made it pretty much unstoppable, fire officials said. “The prospects for containment are not good” http://lat.ms/2AwvjKQ 

My friend Jim Bob Barnett took this photo last night from Ortega Hill in Summerland. Stay safe everyone! 

BREAKING: Another brushfire! This is near the Getty Center. NB 405 closed at Bel Air Crest. 

CA WILDFIRES – WHAT WE KNOW

– 50,000 acres, 0% contained

– There are over 1000 fire fighters on scene with additional fire resources enroute

– There are currently approximately 100 Sheriff’s Office personnel, as well as law enforcement officers on scene

Driving through the valley of the shadow of death this morning, also known as the Sepulveda pass of the 405 where wildfires are raging. 

The Sepulveda Pass/405 this morning around 5:30am en route to the airport. Never seen anything like it. Be safe, LA. 

Driving to LAX just as they’re closing the 405 for this roaring hillside fire near the Getty exit. Car windows are hot. Stay safe, LA. pic.twitter.com/gclO6A6WB9

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Rarely have I seen a smoke plume that huge and thick on Terra imagery. 


Incredible photos from the ISS show California wildfires visible from SPACE as experts warn that 80mph gusts of wind put hundreds of square miles of California in ‘EXTREME’ danger of further blazes

  • Hundreds of square miles of Southern California are at ‘extreme’ risk of wildfires today, experts have warned
  • Gusts from strong Santa Ana winds can make fires uncontrollable or carry embers for miles to dry grass
  • Firefighters managed to make some gains against the fires on Wednesday but those could be lost today
  • Five fires – including the Skirball fire that burned Bel Air houses Wednesday – are still being fought
  • The largest fire – the Thomas Fire near Ventura – has covered more than 14 square miles of land
  • No people have been killed but 29 horses were killed after the Creek Fire swept through a ranch near Sylmar 

Stunning new photographs show the California wildfires from space, revealing just how vast the level of devastation is – as experts say it’s likely to get worse as fires become uncontrollable in high winds.

The photos, posted on Twitter by International Space Station astronaut Randy Bresnik, show plumes of smoke covering the land and sea as the five wildfires continue to rage.

But now experts say that the high Santa Ana winds have pushed the risk level for much of Southern California into the never-before-seen ‘Extreme’ range.

The National Weather Service San Diego has marked hundreds of square miles – from Ojai in the north down to the Mexican border, and Ventura in the east to the 247 freeway in the west – in purple, warning of the risk of fast-growing, ‘uncontrollable’ fires.

That could mean the hard-won progress of firefighters on Wednesday will be erased on Thursday, as the fires – which have already put hundreds of thousands of people under evacuation orders and destroyed nearly 20 homes and buildings – grow at terrifying speeds.

This is the extraordinary view of the Southern California wildfires afforded by the International Space Station. The five massive blazes have scoured hundreds of square miles of the state, and forced 200,000 people from their homes

This is the extraordinary view of the Southern California wildfires afforded by the International Space Station. The five massive blazes have scoured hundreds of square miles of the state, and forced 200,000 people from their homes

The blazes - the latest of which sprang up yesterday near Bel Air - have created vast plumes of smoke that have canopied nearby areas of the state. Experts say they're likely to get worse Thursday as 80mph Santa Ana winds push them on

The blazes – the latest of which sprang up yesterday near Bel Air – have created vast plumes of smoke that have canopied nearby areas of the state. Experts say they’re likely to get worse Thursday as 80mph Santa Ana winds push them on

The photos were posted on Twitter by astronaut Randy Bresnik, who wrote: 'I was asked this evening if we can see the SoCal fires from space. Yes Faith, unfortunately we can. May the Santa Anas die down soon'

The photos were posted on Twitter by astronaut Randy Bresnik, who wrote: ‘I was asked this evening if we can see the SoCal fires from space. Yes Faith, unfortunately we can. May the Santa Anas die down soon’

Smoke is being clown out over the Pacific ocean in this beautiful - but terrifying - photo. Bresnik added: 'Thank you to all the first responders, firefighters, and citizens willing to help fight these California wildfires'

Smoke is being clown out over the Pacific ocean in this beautiful – but terrifying – photo. Bresnik added: ‘Thank you to all the first responders, firefighters, and citizens willing to help fight these California wildfires’

The oldest of the fires began on Monday and the latest on Wednesday - but all have caused immense damage to structures, and killed many animals. Thankfully no people have yet been killed, although injuries have been reported

The oldest of the fires began on Monday and the latest on Wednesday – but all have caused immense damage to structures, and killed many animals. Thankfully no people have yet been killed, although injuries have been reported

This shot shows one of the solar panels on the ISS, along with the wildfires far below. Much of Southern California is in 'extreme' danger of fires for the first time in history, the director at the California Dept of Forestry and Fire Protection said

This shot shows one of the solar panels on the ISS, along with the wildfires far below. Much of Southern California is in ‘extreme’ danger of fires for the first time in history, the director at the California Dept of Forestry and Fire Protection said

The view from below is even more terrifying. This is the Thomas Fire, near Ventura - the largest of the fires. It has covered more than  95,000 acres, as embers and strong winds cause shrubs to blaze

The view from below is even more terrifying. This is the Thomas Fire, near Ventura – the largest of the fires. It has covered more than  95,000 acres, as embers and strong winds cause shrubs to blaze

Firefighters monitor the Thomas Fire along Ventura's 101 freeway, using flares to burn off brush close to the road. Around 200,000 people are under evacuation orders across the state, and almost 200 homes and buildings have been destroyed

Firefighters monitor the Thomas Fire along Ventura’s 101 freeway, using flares to burn off brush close to the road. Around 200,000 people are under evacuation orders across the state, and almost 200 homes and buildings have been destroyed

Police and fire crews watch as the Thomas Fire burns a hillside near Ojai. That town was evacuated after it was surrounded by fire overnight. Experts worry that firefighters will only be able to watch if winds whip the fire out of control on Thursday

Police and fire crews watch as the Thomas Fire burns a hillside near Ojai. That town was evacuated after it was surrounded by fire overnight. Experts worry that firefighters will only be able to watch if winds whip the fire out of control on Thursday

The 101 Highway (pictured) was closed after the Thomas Fire jumped the road towards the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura. Thursday will be a dicey day for firestorm watchers

The 101 Highway (pictured) was closed after the Thomas Fire jumped the road towards the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura. Thursday will be a dicey day for firestorm watchers

The National Weather Service San Diego has warned that Thursday will bring 'Extreme' fire danger risks to LA, Ventura, Orange County, Inland Empire and San Diego. Santa Barbara is at 'Marginal' risk, it said

The National Weather Service San Diego has warned that Thursday will bring ‘Extreme’ fire danger risks to LA, Ventura, Orange County, Inland Empire and San Diego. Santa Barbara is at ‘Marginal’ risk, it said

The Thomas Fire, Creek Fire and Rye Fire were joined on Tuesday by the San Bernardino Fire. On Wednesday morning the Los Angeles brush fire - dubbed the Skirball Fire - was reported to emergency services. By the afternoon it hit Bel Air

The Thomas Fire, Creek Fire and Rye Fire were joined on Tuesday by the San Bernardino Fire. On Wednesday morning the Los Angeles brush fire – dubbed the Skirball Fire – was reported to emergency services. By the afternoon it hit Bel Air

Homeowner films incredible destruction left behind by CA wildfire

‘We’ve never used purple before,’ said Ken Pimlott, director at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, referring to the color-coded ‘Extreme’ designation placed on miles of Southrn California.

‘We’re talking winds that can surface that can be 80 miles an hour. These will be winds that there will be no ability to fight fires.’

There have been fire blazes so far, with the largest – the Thomas Fire – occurring in the Ventura area; it was joined by the Skirball Fire, which burned LA’s rich Bel Air neighborhood; the Creek Fire, which destroyed homes in the Sylmar area, the Rye Fire, which menaced Santa Clarita; and the Little Mountain fire outside San Bernardino.

THE FIRES

The Thomas Fire in Ventura is by far the largest and has covered 96,000 acres.

Despite the efforts of more than 1,100 fire fighters, it is just 5% contained.

The Creek Fire, near Sylmar, has covered more than 12,605 acres.

It is 5% contained.

The Rye Fire, near Santa Clarita, has covered 7,000 acres. It is 15% contained.

The Skirball Fire, which is consuming Bel Air and threatening celebrity homes is one of the smallest. It has covered 475 acres. It is uncontained.

The Little Mountain Fire

Near San Bernardino, the Little Mountain fire is the smallest at 260 acres.

As of Thursday morning, it was 100% contained, meaning it will not spread but it is still burning.

They may be joined by others Thursday, as the 80mph gusts that are expected from this fall’s Santa Ana winds can push fires quickly across dry plants and carry embers that spark new fires miles away.

On what may have been an early sign of the 140-square-mile Thomas Fire getting new life, several thousand new evacuations were ordered late Tuesday night in Ojai, a town of artists and resorts at the northern tip of the ‘Extreme’ danger zone.

The blaze had been creeping towards the town already, with flames first visible from downtown on Tuesday night, but an increase in winds on Wednesday night pushed it closer and caused it to slowly surround the down.

Parts of Ojai were already under evacuation orders, and the entire valley surrounding it had been under a voluntary evacuation advisory since the fire broke out on Monday.

But the new evacuations meant most of the town of about 7,000 people was under mandatory orders, adding to the total of nearly 30,000 people under such orders for the Thomas Fire, which covered 140 square miles by Wednesday night.

So far the human death toll in the area has been zero – something likely helped by the push alerts sent to millions of cell phones from San Diego to Santa Barbara that have kept people alert and ready to react to the fires.

But the toll on animals has been far greater. In one Slymar ranch alone, 29 horses burned to death when the Creek Fire swept through the property.

Ranch owner Patricia Padilla said she was reluctant to leave the animals but had no choice because her own life was in risk.

‘All I could think about was the horses, the horses, the horses,’ she told The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.

‘And [the firefighters] were like, “Get out, get out, get out.” The structures can get rebuilt, but the lives of the horses can’t. … That’s my biggest heartbreak.’

In one video, a man was filmed by a roadside stepping into burning brush, only to return a moment later holding a still-living wild rabbit that had been cornered by the fire.

Huge wildfire rages alongside busy Interstate 405 in California

Shelby Hope walks through the remains of the Padilla Ranch near Sylmar, which was ravaged by the Creek Fire. The ranch owners were forced to flee for their lives, and were unable to free their horses - 29 of which perished

Shelby Hope walks through the remains of the Padilla Ranch near Sylmar, which was ravaged by the Creek Fire. The ranch owners were forced to flee for their lives, and were unable to free their horses – 29 of which perished

Horses lie in burned-out stables after the Creek Fire swept through the Padilla Ranch. Prior to the fire, the owners had 60 horses, 31 of which survived

Horses lie in burned-out stables after the Creek Fire swept through the Padilla Ranch. Prior to the fire, the owners had 60 horses, 31 of which survived

In one video of the blazes, a man can be seen running around a flame-filled area trying to rescue a wild rabbit

He eventually picks up the animal and runs away from the blaze

In one video of the blazes, a man can be seen running around a flame-filled area trying to rescue a wild rabbit. He eventually picks up the animal and runs away from the blaze

Flames from the Thomas fire burn above traffic on Highway 101 north of Ventura. Scenes similar to this were glimpsed across the state as people tried to go about their lives in the face of the fire

Flames from the Thomas fire burn above traffic on Highway 101 north of Ventura. Scenes similar to this were glimpsed across the state as people tried to go about their lives in the face of the fire

A firefighter mops up at a home consumed by a wildfire in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles. Celebrities tweeted their misfortune as their homes were evacuated

A firefighter mops up at a home consumed by a wildfire in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles. Celebrities tweeted their misfortune as their homes were evacuated

Workers from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power walk past a home destroyed by the Creek Fire along Via San Anselmo in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles

Workers from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power walk past a home destroyed by the Creek Fire along Via San Anselmo in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles

Crystal Shore looks over the wildfire-damaged homes of her neighbors on Via San Anselmo in Sylmar

Crystal Shore looks over the wildfire-damaged homes of her neighbors on Via San Anselmo in Sylmar

Celebrities also got a taste of the terror on Wednesday as the fires neared their Bel Air mansions and choked the surrounding areas.

‘Never thought I’d get to actually play what I thought was a hypothetical game of what would you grab if there were a fire. So far all I have is Luna, some limited edition Oreos and my Spike TV award,’ Teigen tweeted as she evacuated.

She added: ‘We are fine and we will be fine. Thinking of everyone else affected and continuing my lifelong intense love of firefighters.’

And satirist Chelsea Handler tackled the fires with her usual wry humor, writing: ‘Just evacuated my house. It’s like Donald Trump is setting the world on fire. Literally and figuratively. Stay safe everyone. Dark times.’

Their homes were threatened on Wednesday in Los Angeles’ exclusive Bel-Air section, where multimillion-dollar mansions with sweeping views of Los Angeles were gutted by flames.

Little flame was visible in the area by late Tuesday, but in the morning fire exploded on the steep slopes of Sepulveda Pass, closing a section of heavily traveled Interstate 405 and destroying four homes.

Flames burned a wine storage shed at media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s 16-acre Moraga Vineyards estate and appeared to have damaged about seven acres of vines, a spokeswoman said.

Across the wide I-405 freeway from the fire, the Getty Center art complex was closed to protect its collection from smoke damage, although it was spared the blaze’s deadly touch as the fire never leaped over the freeway

Chrissy Teigen tweeted her status as the Skirball Fire consumed sections of Bel Air, notifying fans she and her daughter Luna were safe

Chrissy Teigen tweeted her status as the Skirball Fire consumed sections of Bel Air, notifying fans she and her daughter Luna were safe

Satirist Chelsea Handler dealt with the tragedy with her usual sense of humor, saying it felt like the president had set the world on fire 'figuratively and literally', as she implored her followers to 'stay safe'

Satirist Chelsea Handler dealt with the tragedy with her usual sense of humor, saying it felt like the president had set the world on fire ‘figuratively and literally’, as she implored her followers to ‘stay safe’

On Wednesday the newest wildfire, the Skirball Fire, set light to LA's plush Bel Air neighborhood (pictured). The Getty Center for the arts (top-right) was untouched by the fire, which failed to cross the dividing 405 highway

On Wednesday the newest wildfire, the Skirball Fire, set light to LA’s plush Bel Air neighborhood (pictured). The Getty Center for the arts (top-right) was untouched by the fire, which failed to cross the dividing 405 highway

Many schools across Los Angeles were closed because of poor air quality, and classes were canceled at 265 schools Thursday.

Back in the beachside city of Ventura, air tankers that had been grounded much of the week because of high winds flew on Wednesday, dropping flame retardant. Firefighters rushed to attack the fires before winds picked up again.

‘We’re basically in an urban firefight in Ventura, where if you can keep that house from burning, you might be able to slow the fire down,’ said Tim Chavez, a fire behavior specialist at the blaze. ‘But that’s about it.’

Melissa Rosenzweig, 47, was briefly back at her home there Tuesday after fleeing the Thomas Fire. Her house has been spared so far, despite most homes on her street burning.

She and her husband were about to evacuate again, hoping they will get lucky twice as the new winds arrive.

‘Heck yeah I’m still worried,’ Rosenzweig said. ‘We’re very grateful but I know we’re not out of the woods.’


Fire Crews Fight To Protect Ojai; Hundreds Of Homes Are Feared Lost in Ventura County

Sarah Parvini, Matt Hamilton and Louis SahagunContact Reporters

SOURCE http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ventura-fire-20171206-story.html

Crews battling a massive wildfire that has caused tens of thousands of Ventura County residents to flee are bracing themselves for a day of heavy winds on Thursday, when forecasters predict fire-stoking gusts of up to 80 mph.

The Thomas fire already has scorched at least 65,500 acres and carved a path of destruction that stretches more than 10 miles from Santa Paula to the Pacific Ocean.

The focus Wednesday, officials said, was keeping the fire out of the Ojai Valley while assessing the devastation in the cities of Ventura and Santa Paula.

The hot Santa Ana winds that drove the fire at remarkable speed on Tuesday had lessened greatly Wednesday. However, they were predicted to increase again on Thursday.

“We are in the beginning of a protracted wind event,” said state fire chief Ken Pimlott.

“There will be no ability to fight fire in these kinds of winds,” Pimlott said. “At the end of the day, we need everyone in the public to listen and pay attention. This is not ‘watch the news and go about your day.’ This is pay attention minute-by-minute … keep your head on a swivel.”

Among those residents who took Pimlott’s words to heart were Kristy Cantrall, who left a garden hose poised on the roof of her Santa Paula townhome, just in case.

Only a day earlier, the Thomas fire was a half-mile away from her cul-de-sac neighborhood on Vela Court, prompting neighbors to climb up to their roofs and spray their homes with water.

Helicopters hovered overhead, dropping buckets of fire retardant on eucalyptus trees that had caught fire just north of the neighborhood.

Cantrall’s son Colin drove from Simi Valley to water down his mother’s home Tuesday night. “Once we saw copters come down, we knew we had to water,” he said.

He planned to do the same Wednesday if the fire flared up. Meanwhile, they just kept an eye on the news.

State fire officials say about 12,000 homes remain threatened by flames, while 50,000 people have been forced to flee. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, as approximately 1,100 personnel continued to battle the blaze. At least one firefighter has been injured.

Fire officials said that the area they’ve dubbed “branch one,” which includes Ojai, the bucolic mountain town known as a haven for spiritual seekers, health enthusiasts and celebrities, is one of their priorities. Firefighters are putting together a plan to protect Ojai and have expressed concern that winds could push the flames toward the city.

“The fire is here and wrapped around the community,” said Shane Lauderdale, a Cal Fire branch director, as he huddled with other officials in a downtown parking lot.

With a map of the Ojai Valley spread over the hood of a crew vehicle and ashes falling around him, Lauderdale said that more equipment and firefighters are being rushed to areas south and east of the town.

“We’re taking advantage of the current calm to concentrate resources along a defensive line,” he said.

Firefighters are moving heavy equipment to meet the blaze on the edge of town, while hand crews are cutting fire breaks.

“We’re going to get a lot more work done today,” Lauderdale said.

The fire threat is considered dire until Friday, when punishing Santa Ana winds are predicted to abate. However, Ojai city manager Steve McClary said, “Until we have fog drifting in from the west and light rain, we won’t feel like this thing is behind us.”

Officials said the southeast area of the Thomas fire was one of their highest priorities because of the “tremendous volume of fire” in that area.

They reiterated a message spread this morning — to put out even small bushes on fire along roads and extinguish the smallest embers on the way to bigger blazes because “that’s how it’s spreading from house to house.”

The fire was the worst of several major blazes across Southern California, including one in Bel-Air that closed the 405 Freeway on Wednesday, one in the Angeles National Forest near Sylmar and another in the Santa Clarita Valley.

At least 150 structures — including one large apartment complex and the VistaDel MarHospital, a psychiatric facility — were consumed by flames. But Cal Fire suspects the true number is hundreds more; firefighters just haven’t been able to get into some areas to know for sure.

Geoff Marcus walked past the charred remains of his Dodge Ram in the driveway of his Ventura home and surveyed the rubble that was left behind.

The raging Thomas fire chewed through the five-bedroom house he grew up in and his family has owned for 60 years.

“I’m looking to see what we can salvage,” Marcus, 58, said.

He spent the morning rummaging through the ashes with his two sons, Steven and Daniel. Together, they were able to scrounge a few ceramic plates and mugs.

Marcus said he and his mother evacuated Monday and had no more than 10 minutes to leave. He saw the flames — “an orange glow like the earth was angry” — and knew it was time to evacuate.

“It was enough time to grab the family and that was it. That was all I had,” he said.

Both his neighbors’ homes also burned, along with one house across from his and the homes along a nearby ridge. On Wednesday, smoke rose from the ground, which was still radiating heat.

“I feel loss but my family is safe, and, well, that’s all I care about. These are all possessions that can be replaced,” he said, walking through piles of burned wood and appliances.

Behind him, a blackened shower stood perfectly intact.

“This was a happy place where we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everything my mom has collected and cherished is gone,” he said.

As his sons looked through the property, Marcus searched for one particular artifact — a portion of the driveway where he and his father had carved their names in 1984.

“I was hoping to find some jewelry, but it all melted,” he said.

The home was renovated in 2008, he said. Marcus and his mother are staying at his nephew’s house nearby until his insurance company provides him with temporary housing.

“I kept hoping we’d come back and there would be a house,” he said. “Now we rebuild and start over. There’s not much you can do otherwise.”

His son Steven popped his head up where the fireplace once stood.

“Hey!” he shouted. “I found an angel!”

He waved a small “Precious Moments” figurine with a halo atop its head, then tossed it to his brother with a laugh.

At a briefing Wednesday morning, Rich Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told crews that Santa Ana winds would pick up again on Thursday.

Officials noted that “the wind has overwhelmed everything. … It’s driven the fire across all kinds of terrain.”

“You hear the winds are going to be slacking a little, but keep in mind by slacking we mean gusts of 80 go down to 35,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Tim Chavez. “If you notice the air gets still and quiet for a little while, stay there.”

Crews were warned of firefighter deaths that occurred in this area in the past during “a similar situation to today, a weakening Santa Ana.”

Ventura County Fire Capt. Steve Kaufmann said 50,000 residents had been evacuated from their homes and many don’t know the fate of their properties.

“A lot of those folks haven’t seen the state of their homes since they left, and we do have a number of homes destroyed,” he said. “I plead with you, please do not post any pictures of destroyed homes or structures. We don’t want to be the one who shows them their home is destroyed for the first time.”

He added: “The folks here don’t differentiate based on the patch on your shoulder. Please go out and do good work on behalf of our citizens.”

The fire hopscotched through Ventura on Tuesday, burning hillside homes, reaching into subdivisions and also consuming a hospital and a large apartment building. The fire swept through blocks, taking some homes and sparing others.

The blaze started about 6:25 p.m. Monday in the foothills near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, a popular hiking destination. It grew wildly to more than 15 square miles in the hours that followed — consuming vegetation that hasn’t burned in decades, Ventura County Fire Sgt. Eric Buschow said.


More Mainstream Media Reports with remarkable footage
Another critical look at what may be causing the fires

This report by FOX NEWS on the advances made in Directed Energy Weapons by the US Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Operation Crossbow” from the 1985 movie, Real Genius.

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! California Lightning Directed Energy Weapon Airborne Laser

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