Three dangerous fires are burning across California, engulfing San Francisco in smokey haze and sending flames across an L.A. freeway
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- California is dealing with several dangerous wildfires. The Woolsey and Hill fires are burning on the outskirts of L.A., and the Camp Fire in northern California destroyed an entire town in less than a day.
- The flames are being fueled by dry, hot conditions as well as strong winds.
- People in San Francisco, more than 170 miles away from the Camp Fire, woke up to a hazy sky and extremely poor air quality.
- Another small brush fire started Friday morning near the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park, and quickly scorched 3 acres.
- California wildfires are becoming so frequent and pervasive that officials there say there's almost no need for the term "wildfire season" anymore.
Three dangerous wildfires are raging in California.
The Camp Fire in northern California started Thursday morning and quickly charred the entire town of Paradise, which is home to 27,000. As of 8:35 a.m. PT, fire officials reported the blaze had burned 70,000 acres in just over 24 hours, and was just 5% contained.
To the south, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, two smaller fires are creating havoc for drivers and forcing homeowners to flee. The Woolsey and Hill Fires are burning through the hills and valleys of parts of Ventura County. The flames have threatened the homes of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and shu down stretches of the 101 freeway.
Inside the city limits of L.A., another smaller fire broke out Friday morning in Griffith Park, near the city's zoo. Firefighters there are scrambling to reach the area by helicopter, since it's not accessible by truck.
Already this year, 7,578 fires have burned across California, fueled by hot, dry, conditions and aggressive winds.
The Camp Fire
On Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Butte County due to the Camp Fire.
Smoke from that fire is blanketing wide swaths of northern California in a gray haze. On Friday morning, people in San Francisco woke up to the smell of smoke and poor air quality, and some donned masks to protect their lungs.
Federal air monitors have suggested that older adults, children, teens, and people with heart and lung conditions should limit their time outside due to the high number of dangerously small pollutants in the air. The air in San Francisco right now is as bad as Beijing, CBS reported.
Katie Canales/Business Insider
Katie Canales/Business Insider
The Hill and Woolsey Fires in Ventura County
In Ventura County so far, the Hill Fire has burned at least 6,000 acres, and mandatory evacuation orders are in place for people in Point Mugu Naval Base, Camarillo Springs, Vallecito Trailer Park, California State University Channel Islands, Oak Park. Evacuations are also mandatory in parts of Dos Vientos and South Coast.
The Woolsey Fire (the one that forced Kim and Kourtney Kardashian out of their homes) has charred 8,000 acres and it is prompting mandatory evacuations for a few specific areas of Ventura County, which you can view on the Ventura County Emergency Information site.
The 101 freeway had to be shut down in several areas because of the Hill Fire: on a roughly 9-mile southbound stretch from Wendy Dr. to Lewis Rd., and from Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon to the L.A. County line.
Many of the Ventura County public schools closed on Friday, as well as nearby Pepperdine University, Moorpark Community College, California State University Channel Islands, and Cal Lutheran University.
Wildfire "season," in California used to run from late summer through the fall, since autumn's Santa Ana winds help blow flames around. But as the planet heats up, dry, drought conditions become more common. So fire officials in the state are succumbing to the idea that fires may not be limited to any specific season anymore.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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