North America

Fire inferno engulfs Los Angeles

AN inferno has engulfed the Los Angeles region, forcing more than 200,000 people to evacuate and threatening thousands of homes, including the luxe Bel-Air neighbourhood dotted with mansions.

The flames have swallowed some 80,000 acres (32,000 hectares) in just over a day since the “Thomas” fire, currently the state’s largest, broke out, leaving at least one dead in an area about 45 minutes from downtown LA.

High winds caused another wave of wildfires to erupt overnight, including one in Los Angeles’ affluent Bel-Air neighbourhood.

The area battled gridlocked heavy traffic as ash and smoke churned over the smouldering hillside.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was forced to declare a state of emergency and said more than 230,000 people had evacuated Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

“Very strong winds” blowing from the northeast to the southwest were causing the fire to balloon, he said, warning Angelenos to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

“These are days that b…

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