Southern California utility may shut down power lines to prevent fires

Southern California utility may shut down power lines to prevent fires

The Thomas Fire is the biggest in Los Angeles since the Bel Air fire in 1961 torched the homes of the rich and famous. By mid-morning, the size had grown to about 150 acres.

"What you'll see today is more resources up there making an aggressive attack, doing everything we can to try to get our arms all the way around it ... to work towards full containment", Hogan said.

The latest update shows the Thomas Fire, in Ventura County, moving west in the hills above Ojai and in the coastal area south of Carpinteria.

Residents by Casiano Road and Linda Flora Drive have been ordered to evacuate, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The Skirball fire has only burned 475 acres of land so far, but its proximity to Los Angeles and responsibility for briefly shutting down the infamously crowded 405 Freeway has garnered nationwide attention.

All Santa Monica-Malibu Los Angeles Unified School District schools will be closed Wednesday due to the fire.

About 100 officers from the Los Angeles Police Department were sent to the neighborhood to handle evacuation orders, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said. Meanwhile, blazes from the Sylmar fire, Santa Clarita fire and San Bernardino fire have also had devastating effects. Officials were focused on keeping the fire from jumping the freeway and heading east. Fifty-two fire engines were deployed to the scene. The company positioned fix crews and equipment in areas most likely to suffer wind damage.

Social media users sought to highlight the apparent irony.

Evacuation centers have been established at Delano Recreation Center, 15100 Erwin St., Van Nuys; Balboa RC, 17015 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys; Sherman Oaks RC, 14201 Huston St., Sherman Oaks; and Westwood RC, 1350 Sepulveda Blvd., Westwood.

The Getty Center and the nearby Skirball Center, both on the west side of the freeway, did not appear to be threatened, though both remained closed Thursday.

The fires have periodically closed major routes in the area, including Interstate 405 and Highway 101, making it more hard for people to get around.

A SigAlert was issued for the closure of all northbound lanes on the 405 Freeway just after 5 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol's traffic incident log.

In the Sunland area of Los Angeles near the Creek Fire, Ken Villegas, a horse farm owner, said earlier in the week he saw the flames jump from across the street and enter his property, burning some of his foliage but no structures.