A series of wildfires contained burning out of control in Los Angeles and Ventura counties in Southern California on Tuesday night. The first flames, dubbed the Thomas Fire, took off nearly 24 hours prior in Ventura County.
As of Tuesday night, the largest blaze, dubbed the Thomas Fire, had burned more than 50,000 acres. At least 12,000 buildings were threatened and 150 buildings were destroyed. The flames have crossed the 101 Freeway near Solimar Beach in Ventura County.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, freeing up state funds to help tackle the wildfires. “This fire is very dangerous and spreading rapidly, but we’ll continue to tackle it with all we’ve got,” Brown said “It’s critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so.”
“The fire growth is just absolutely exponential,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen told reporters. “All that firefighters can do when we have winds like this is get out ahead, evacuate people, and protect structures.”