North America

Apocalyptic fires engulf California

FIRE has engulfed homes in one of Los Angeles’ richest neighbourhoods, threatening multimillion-dollar mansions, shutting down a freeway and forcing thousands to flee.

The house and winery of Aussie media mogul Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of publisher News Corp, are among the properties under threat in Bel-Air, according to NBC News.

The Skirball fire is the newest of four of blazes raging in southern California, which have been whipped up by fierce winds and caused more than 200,000 people to evacuate.

More than 1000 firefighters are battling the biggest of the infernos in Venture County — about 45 minutes’ drive from central LA — which threatened more than 12,000 homes across about 26,000 hectares.

LA mayor Eric Garcetti has declared a state of emergency.

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