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Bel-Air Fire Spurred Major Changes in Fire Safety Rules

08 December 2017

The massive Thomas Fire that has been roaring through Ventura County north of Los Angeles grew overnight thanks to increasing winds and forced the temporary closure of the 101 Freeway early this morning between the coastal towns of Carpinteria and Ventura.

More than 125 firefighters were battling the blaze and working to save homes in the area, according to the Times.

Fifteen engines from the Creek Fire were moved to the Skirball Fire Wednesday, the chief said at a morning news conference.

According to LAPD: Residents by Casiano Rd, Moraga, & Linda Flora in West Los Angeles being evacuated/are evacuated for the 405 brush fire.

By 10 p.m., the fire was estimated to have burned 450 acres, about 25 acres less than the figure provided by officials during an afternoon update. It also burned Vista del Mar Hospital, an 82-bed mental health facility in northwestern Ventura, which was fully evacuated two hours before, county fire engineer Richard Macklin said. The 405 Freeway, a major commuting highway, also has been closed. 4 structures confirmed destroyed, may be up to 6.This all according to Los Angeles Mayor. The only fire in which there was any containment was the Rye, at 5%.

The fire's forward progress has been stopped, but a number of flareups have popped up in the Bel-Air Crest area as strong, gusty winds started to pick up again on Wednesday evening, according to Peter Sanders, LAFD's public information director.

Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar was closed today.

"We don't have a good feel on which direction this fire is heading", Stewart said.

The winds might die down during sunlight Wednesday, but they're expected to pick up in the evening and Thursday - perhaps as gusty as 50 miles per hour, posing a risk of further spread. "Our air filtration system is very sophisticated: It basically reverses, so that air is pushed out rather than in and smoke is not able to get into the galleries to damage the collection in any way". Classes were canceled at all schools in the Ventura Unified School District on Wednesday.

The fire, which was entirely uncontained, was being whipped by unpredictable Santa Ana winds, which blow in from the California desert.

Bel-Air Fire Spurred Major Changes in Fire Safety Rules