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Stars flee homes in California wildfire terror

The blaze is sweeping the wealthy Montecito area of Santa Barbara, aided by gusts of up to 60mph. Lowe, 53, tweeted: “Praying for my town. Fires closing in. Firefighters making brave stands. Could go either way. Packing to evacuate now.” Oprah, 63, added: “Still praying for our little town. Winds picked up this morning creating a perfect storm of bad for firefighters.” Singer Katy Perry, 33, said: “Woke up to wish my mum a happy 70th birthday today to find my brother evacuating them. Praying for the firefighters and first…

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Power outage brings world’s busiest airport to standstill

ATLANTA — A power outage brought the world’s busiest airport to a standstill Sunday, ruining holiday travel for thousands and threatening another day of headaches, with hundreds of flights on Monday already canceled. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta lost power shortly after 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, leaving passengers trapped inside airport terminals and some in planes on the tarmac for hours. By late Sunday, the airport had canceled 1,173 flights and delayed 207, according to FlightAware.com. Delta Air Lines, which is headquartered in Atlanta, said it was canceling another…

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Science 

Montecito's misery: Ash rains in California wildfire battle

The blaze broke, which broke out nearly two weeks ago, is one of California’s largest wildfires in decades (AFP Photo/Robyn Beck) Montecito (United States) (AFP) – Ash rained down Saturday on the dry hills and multi-million-dollar homes of Montecito, where firefighters chased spot blazes fanned by winds in one of California’s largest wildfires in decades. The fire, named “Thomas”, broke out almost two weeks ago and is now the state’s third-largest wildfire since 1932. On Saturday it led to evacuation orders for areas in Santa Barbara County, including Montecito more…

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California’s wildfire now bigger than New York City

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The massive wildfire that California has been battling since early December has now ballooned into the third largest in the state’s history, burning a record amount of acreage, officials said Saturday. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority said the Thomas Fire, which started Dec. 4 in Santa Paula, has now burned 259,000 acres. That exceeds the devastating Rim Fire southeast of Sacramento in 2013 by 2,000 acres, and outsizes New York City, which measures more than 195,000 acres. “As of this morning, we’re at…

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Firefighter killed battling powerful California wildfire

The raging Thomas Fire claimed the life of a firefighter on Thursday after charring nearly 250,000 acres of California since early December. Cal Fire said one of their engineers perished while working for the department’s San Diego Unit to combat the fourth largest fire in state history, but provided few specifics. In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, firefighters keep an eye on flames as pockets of unburned vegetation flare up off Bella Vista Dr. in Montecito, Calif. on Dec. 13, 2017. Mike Eliason / Santa…

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California fires MAP: Where are the fires now? Is there still a wildfire threat?

At least four major wildfires are still blazing along the coast of California as emergency services work around the clock to contain the inferno. But the effort is being hindered by strong winds feeding the fires and threatening to spread them further across the state. The threat of fire prompted United States President Donald Trump to issue a state of emergency on Friday December 8. Today the National Weather Forecast Service insisted that “critical fire conditions will persist” through Thursday. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire)…

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California fire threatens upmarket resort of Montecito as blaze threatens for another week

The Thomas Fire, which broke out on December 4 near the community of Ojai, has since travelled 27 miles to become the fifth-largest blaze in state history. It has blackened more than 368 square miles in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, an area larger than New York City.  Officials said that while the conflagration charred another 2,500 acres overnight, a break in the hot, dry Santa Ana winds yesterday sapped its forward momentum and allowed crews to prevent further damage to homes.  “It’s doing what we want it to do….

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Illegal campfire caused blaze that torched homes in Bel-Air

An illegal cooking fire at an encampment near a Los Angeles freeway sparked a fast-moving wildfire last week that destroyed homes in the tony Bel-Air neighborhood and closed down a major freeway, authorities said Tuesday. The Los Angeles Fire Department said that the cooking fire in a brush area near Sepulveda Boulevard where it passes underneath the 405 Freeway was the cause of the so-called Skirball Fire, which broke out at around 5 a.m. Wednesday and destroyed six homes. There have been no arrests, the Fire Department said. The Skirball…

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Raging on, Thomas Fire becomes fifth largest in California history

The Thomas Fire in California’s Ventura and Santa Barbara counties has consumed more than 230,000 acres over the past week — becoming the fifth largest fire in the state’s history and continuing to send firefighters scrambling to control the blaze, officials said on Monday. Crews had 15 percent of the fire under control as of Monday morning, up from the 10 percent reported contained on Sunday night, according to state fire officials. Photos: California Coast Battles Massive Wildfire The fire began on Nov. 4 as a Santa Ana wind-driven brush…

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