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The Wall Street Journal: New blaze threatens Bel Air homes, as thousands more flee Southern California wildfires

December 07
04:04 2017

LOS ANGELES — A series of large fires across Southern California continued to grow Wednesday, leading to the closure of schools and a major freeway and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

In Los Angeles, a fire sparked early Wednesday morning is threatening some of the country’s most expensive real estate. Videos on social media showed motorists on the busy 405 freeway driving toward hillsides that were completely engulfed in flames. Part of the freeway remained closed.

The Getty Center museum and Skirball Cultural Center both closed for the day, as have dozens of Los Angeles area schools, as thick plumes of smoke obscured the skyline. Some residents of Bel Air, home to celebrities and millionaires such as Elon Musk, have been ordered to evacuated.

Meanwhile, fires across Southern California this week have already consumed more than 80,000 acres, fueled by Santa Ana winds and months with little rain that left brush across the region dry and ready to burn. More than 4,000 firefighters were working to control the blazes, but the major fires were still at little or no containment, and fire officials said the high winds and low humidity were likely to last at least until Friday.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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