Horses Burned to Death in Fast-Moving California Wildfire

An example of firefighters at work

An example of firefighters at work

After the fire began, the northbound lanes of the 405 Freeway were closed at Bel Air Crest Road all the way back to Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

The L.A. Times reports: "The fire was estimated to cover some 50 acres by 6:20 a.m., but Los Angeles fire officials said it was being fueled by 25 miles per hour winds and would likely grow even more". Officials have issued a mandatory evacuation notice to at least one neighborhood filled with multimillion-dollar homes, as the fire has already started burning some down.

North winds of 8 to 14 miles per hour and a relative humidity in the low 20's caused the fire to spread rapidly to the south. In October, more than a dozen fires blazed through the northern part of the state, burning thousands of acres along the way. Helicopters, scooping air tankers, and about 220 firefighters were working the fire Wednesday morning.

Schools were closed in the area and some local residents were ordered to evacuate. Some 50 acres had burned within a matter of just two hours as Los Angeles firefighters contend with wind gusts of up to 30 mph.

The SigAlert was expanded at 6:45 a.m., shutting down the freeway in both directions from the 10 Freeway to the 101 Freeway, the CHP stated. Roads affected include Casiano Road, Moraga Drive and Linda Flora Drive. Residents from Sunset to the south and Rosomare to the east should also have a bag packed and be prepared for evacuations. The ongoing Creek Fire in the Sylmar area has scorched more than 11,000 acres.

All Santa Monica-Malibu Los Angeles Unified School District and Conejo Unified School District schools will be closed Wednesday due to the fire. The California Highway Patrol said the freeway has reopened, but some off-ramps remains closed.

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