[00:00.00]A dangerous wildfire has started in the Bel Air area of Los Angeles, California, as firefighters battle three other fires across Southern California.
[00:12.74]The latest wildfire reached the side of the busy Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains. It stopped car traffic.
[00:23.59]Hundreds of firefighters fought the fire on the ground and planes dropped water and retardant from above.
[00:33.77]Firefighters told Bel Air local Maurice Kaboud to leave his home Wednesday.
[00:40.75]But, he chose to stay and protect his house.
[00:45.17]The 59-year-old stood in the backyard of his multi-million-dollar home as fires raged nearby.
[00:54.11]“God willing, this will slow down so the firefighters can do their job,” Kaboud said.
[01:01.36]Southern California’s Santa Ana winds have long contributed to some of the area’s most disastrous wildfires.
[01:10.63]The winds blow from inland toward the Pacific Ocean.
[01:15.41]They gain speed through mountain passes and valleys.
[01:20.29]The biggest and most destructive of Southern California’s wildfires is in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles.
[01:30.62]It now covers over 262 square kilometers and stretches across a major highway.
[01:38.49]The fire had already destroyed at least 150 structures.
[01:45.61]But many more homes may have already been lost.
[01:49.92]Lisa Kermode and her children returned to their home Tuesday to find it destroyed.
[01:56.98]Kermode said, “We lost everything, everything, all our clothes, anything that was important to us. All our family heirlooms — it’s not sort of gone, it’s completely gone.”
[02:12.02]Another 12,000 structures were under threat.
[02:16.53]Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the strong winds had created a dangerous situation.
[02:25.26]The city urged 150,000 people living near the fire to leave their homes before it was too late.
[02:33.71]Two months ago, a wildfire in northern California killed 44 people.
[02:41.70]“We have lost structures, we have not lost lives,” Garcetti said. “Do not wait. Leave your homes.”
[02:48.23]The latest fire has stopped production of several television shows because of safety concerns.
[02:57.99]The Los Angeles Rams football team also canceled its practice.
[03:04.05]Wildfires are not normal in Southern California this time of year.
[03:10.21]But they can start suddenly when there is too little rain, combined with the Santa Ana winds.
[03:16.69]Almost no measurable rain has fallen in the area over the past six months.