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Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Two firefighters work at a fire spot in Carpinteria, Calif., Dec. 11, 2017. (Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Firefighters on Tuesday hoped to take further control of a massive California wildfire, the fifth largest in the state’s history, as relentless wind gusts and bone-dry weather were expected to persist.

The blaze, known as the Thomas Fire, which has burned 231,700 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties about 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, grew but at a slower pace, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said.

Some of the other fires burning over the past week in San Diego and Los Angeles counties have been largely brought under control by the thousands of firefighters on the ground.

The Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County were both at least 90 percent contained, officials said, while the Skirball Fire in the exclusive Bel Air neighbourhood of Los Angeles was 85 percent contained.

North of San Diego, the 4,100-acre (1,660 hectare) Lilac Fire was 90 percent contained on Monday after destroying 151 structures. (Reuters)

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