San Fernando Valley in the north of Los Angeles County set off a mountain fire for more than 10 hours, covering an area of 30.3 square kilometers. At least 31 houses were destroyed, and only 13% of the fire is under control. Thousands of residents were called up on the night of October and fled in a hurry. Many fled with purses, keys and medicines. Fire caused temporary closure of four highways in northern Los Angeles County early on November 11, causing traffic chaos in Los Angeles. A firefighter was injured in the fire, and a 50-year-old resident died of a heart attack while protecting his house.
The Los Angeles Fire Department issued a mandatory evacuation order for 23,000 homes in the San Fernando Valley, which has more than 100,000 residents. The fire department also warned residents in neighboring areas to prepare for evacuation. California State University Northridge, near the fire zone, has suspended classes for three days since November 11 to ensure the safety of teachers and students. A large number of local primary and secondary schools and community universities also announced the suspension of classes on November 11.
At present, more than 1,000 firefighters are fighting on the spot with the support of fire fighters, bulldozers and fire engines to prevent the fire from spreading to the residential intensive areas. Los Angeles Police Commissioner Michelle Moore warned residents at a news conference on November 11 to follow the evacuation arrangements.
On October 11, a mountain fire burned along a highway in Silma, California, USA. Xinhua News Agency (Qian Weizhong)
Xinhua News Agency reporters saw a large number of fire fighting and rescue vehicles busy on the scene in the San Fernando Valley on the evening of November 11. Residents were almost invisible in the forced evacuation area. The whole area was filled with smoke and choking people. The distant mountains were filled with sparks of fire. Several huge fires were extremely bright, and spread along the mountains with the help of wind.
According to U.S. media reports, the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility near the fire area is the second largest underground gas storage facility in the United States, having experienced the worst methane leakage accident in the history of the United States in 2015. Firefighters have been dispatched to the facility to protect its safety.
This is a mountain fire in Silma, California, USA, on October 11. Xinhua News Agency reporter Li Yingzhao
To prevent strong winds from wiring off power lines and triggering fires, Californias major power companies, Pacific Natural Gas and Electricity, and Southern California Edison Electric Power Company, have implemented large-scale preventive power outages in California for several days. Southern California Edison Electric Power Company began blackouts in parts of nine counties in California on the night of October 10, causing more than 21,000 users to fall into darkness, involving 40,000 to 60,000 electricity users. Power companys power cut measures have caused serious inconvenience to residentslives and caused many complaints and criticisms.
Chinas Consulate General in Los Angeles said Wednesday that no reports of casualties or requests for help from Chinese citizens have yet been received. The Consulate-General reminds Chinese citizens to pay attention to the fire situation, to avoid going to the control areas as far as possible, to strengthen safety precautions, to comply with the guidance of rescue departments, and to ensure personal safety.
Several large-scale wildfires have occurred in California in recent years, causing serious human and property losses. Last year, at least 86 people were killed and 14,000 buildings were destroyed by the Camp Fire in California. The Santa Ana Wind that hits California every autumn and winter is one of the important reasons for the frequent occurrence of large mountain fires. Santa Ana Wind, also known as the Devil Wind, is a monsoon that occurs in the valleys of southern California in autumn and winter. It comes from the desert areas of the Inland United States. It is extremely dry and prone to mountain fires. (Xinhua News Agency reporter Takayama Tan Yixiao)