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Horses Burn To Death As Rapid California Blaze Spreads

Horses Burn To Death As Rapid California Blaze Spreads

The Thomas Fire has scorched 45,000 acres, blowing smoke all the way to the Westside of Los Angeles.

A wind forecast called for potentially risky gusts, but ones not likely to approach historic levels forecasters had feared, according to the National Weather Service.

Fire crews were continuing to struggle with strong winds up to 70 miles per hour, poor access and steep, rugged terrain, CalFire said.

Almost 30 horses died at a ranch as wildfires rapidly engulfed thousands of acres of the southern California landscape. All times are Eastern unless otherwise noted.

The Padilla family, who has lived on a hill near Little Tujunga Canyon Road in Sylmar for 20 years, surveyed their charred property Wednesday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times.

As the fire expanded and jumped south of the Foothill Freeway on Tuesday, so did the mandatory evacuation area.

A stubborn, wind-driven brush fire that raged through the hills above Sylmar and threatened thousands of homes continued spreading Wednesday, with more than 100,000 residents remaining under evacuation orders. "And they were like, 'Get out, get out, get out, '" ranch owner Patricia Padilla said, referring to warnings by firefighters.

Several schools were shut down through Thursday, as well. A full list of closed schools was available at lausd.net.

Richardson says there are reports of structure on fire in Kagel Canyon and Lopez Canyon, two communities in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. That is double the containment figure from Wednesday.

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Three firefighters were injured Tuesday and hospitalized in stable condition.

Seventeen evacuation centers were opened throughout the San Fernando Valley, all of which were accepting evacuees and pets.

The Getty Center and the nearby Skirball Center, both on the west side of the freeway, did not appear to be threatened, though both will remain closed Thursday.

Twenty- one charter schools in the area also will be closed today.

The "Creek" fire north of downtown Los Angeles that had grown to more than 11,000 acres.

Evacuation centers have been established at Delano Recreation Center, 15100 Erwin St., Van Nuys; Balboa RC, 17015 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys; Sherman Oaks RC, 14201 Huston St., Sherman Oaks; and Westwood RC, 1350 Sepulveda Blvd., Westwood.

Sheriff's officials did not provide an update on the number of residents who remained evacuated, but on Thursday about 250,000 people were under evacuation orders.

As the fire burned on Tuesday, the Foothill (210) Freeway was closed in both directions between the Golden State (5) Freeway and the Glendale (2) Freeway, but the freeway had been reopened by Wednesday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Donoghue says investigators were still trying to determine if the death was connected to the wildfires or if the person was trying to evacuate from the area.

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