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’
A fire engine stands by above the 101 Freeway on Wednesday in Ventura, California, as the Thomas Fire rages. About 200,000 people were under evacuation orders. No deaths and only a few injuries were reported
A woman involved in a traffic accident waits to get towed beside a wall of flames on the 101 highway during the Thomas wildfire near Ventura on Wednesday
The first four blazes – the Thomas Fire in Ventura County; the Creek Fire near Sylmar; the Rye Fire in Santa Clarita, and the Little Mountain Fire in San Bernardino – have already ravaged acres of land, damaging almost 200 structures and forcing 200,000 people to flee.
But they have been joined by the fifth, the Skirball Fire, which began in the early hours of Wednesday morning near Bel Air, and is now close to the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, UCLA and the Getty Arts Center complex.
All of this comes as FEMA confirms that it has freed up money to fight the first three fires, and President Donald Trump has sent his best wishes to those affected.
Dozens of homes have burned since the blaze erupted on Monday. Nearly 1,800 firefighters and a fleet of aircraft are fighting the flames but the blaze is only 5 per cent contained and an estimated 12,000 buildings are in danger.
Meanwhile, southern California issued a ‘purple wind’ warning on Thursday – an extreme on the color-coded system that has never been used before.
The color-coded system showing the expected strength of the winds driving the region’s fierce wildfires has reached uncharted territory, pushing past red, which means ‘high’ into the color that means ‘extreme.’
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!