Creek Fire above Sylmar destroys or damages 30 homes

While Southern California battles its wildfires, we have to start preparing for our hotter, drier future

The Skirball Fire in the Sepulveda Pass and Bel-Air was about 30 percent contained Friday, and officials said some evacuated residents would be allowed to return home. Fire officials reported earlier that 30 homes had been destroyed.

"We are in the beginning of a protracted wind event", Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Associated Press, 25 racing horses valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars each died when eight barns at the San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall were engulfed in flames on Thursday.

Los Angeles County sheriff's officials survey damage after the Creek Fire near Sylmar scorched a hillside in a photo released by the Sheriff's Department on December 9, 2017. Almost 500 horses were stabled at the center when the fire started. The family was calling horse owners with the unfortunate news Wednesday.

At a late-morning news conference, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said his agency - "for the first time ever" - will deploy drones to help coordinate the battle against the two wildfires that are burning in the city.

The so-called Skirball Fire destroyed several homes in the exclusive area, quickly spreading over 150 acres.

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As the fire burned on Tuesday, the 210 Freeway was closed in both directions between the 5 Freeway and the 2 Freeway, but it was reopened by Wednesday afternoon, though some freeway ramps remained closed, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The fire, which has scorched 12,605 acres, broke out at 3:42 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Gold Creek and Little Tujunga roads in the Kagel Canyon area. According to Cal Fire, five homes and 10 outbuildings have been destroyed. The fire rings the city and 5,460 structures are threatened.

The Rye fire in Santa Clarita was 65% contained. Containment is expected in seven days.

The National Weather Service said a red flag warning will remain in effect through Saturday for most of Southern California due to the Santa Ana winds.

In San Bernardino County east of Los Angeles, firefighters mopped up a handful of fires totaling less than 500 acres, according to fire personnel.

ABC 7 reported 350 firefighters from 52 engine companies were stationed at the scene, supported by helicopters making water drops and six fixed-wing aircrafts.

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