Major Southern California freeway closed amid wildfire fight

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The largest blaze, the Thomas Fire, burned more than 36,000 hectares after it destroyed more than 150 homes and threatened thousands more in Ventura, about 80 km northwest on Los Angeles.

This morning, the 405, one of L.A.'s main thoroughfares was closed in both directions as a 50-acre brush fire near the Getty Center continued to rage.

"As expected winds have increased dramatically", Cal Fire, the agency responsible for fire protection in the state, said on Twitter.

While the effects of the fires blazing across Southern California are out of sight from the Bay Area, they hit close to home for many UC Berkeley students.

More than 1,000 firefighters worked through the night protecting buildings, including City Hall, where the flames reached the parking lot, destroyed a couple of cars and left an adjacent hillside blackened and smoldering.

"We got knots in our stomach coming back up here", Kermode said.

According to the Los Angeles Times thousands of homes were still threatened by flames, 27,000 people were forced to flee.

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Ventura County, promising to attack the fire "with all we've got". Firefighters rushed to attack the fires before winds picked up again.

Q: How do high winds affect the firefight?

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Numbers of the injured have not been confirmed, but Bloomfield Police Departmented said there had been a "shooting". San Juan County Sheriff's Department said they were responding to the reported shooting Thursday morning.

And the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League, which hold workouts near the Ventura County fire, canceled practice Wednesday. And in northern Los Angeles, the Creek Fire has consumed 11,000 acres. It was 5 percent contained, while the other fires had no containment.

"The public did an outstanding job heeding our evacuation orders, getting out of these danger zones in a very prompt timely manner", Welsbie said. The fire injured two people, one critically, and forced closure of northbound Interstate 215, said Eric Sherwin, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

But don't fret: Here are some suggestions on how to help victims of the Southern California fires.

United States media reported that the Bel-Air Moraga Estate of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, which contains a vineyard, was threatened by the wildfire.

US President Donald Trump tweeted a message of "thoughts and prayers" to California as it nears the end of its deadliest year ever for wildfires.

Weather officials expect winds to pick up through Thursday, bringing "damaging" gusts of 50 to 70 miles per hour that could knock down trees and power lines, and cause fire to spread rapidly.

Residents living west of I-405 should brace for evacuations, in case flames jump the freeway, officials said earlier on Wednseday.

For instance, a fundraiser for the biggest of the fires, the Thomas fire, has been established by a combination of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services, the United Way, the Red Cross, and it's now accepting donations.