LA declares local emergency amid huge wildfire

Los Angeles Sep 3 Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared an emergency in response to the largest wildfire in the US city’s history
Los Angeles Sep 3 Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared an emergency in response to the largest wildfire in the US city’s history
Author

03 September, 2017

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared an emergency in response to the largest wildfire in the USA city's history.

La Tuna Fire, named after the canyon area where it erupted on Friday, has led authorities to evacuate more than 700 homes in a north Los Angeles neighborhood and in nearby Burbank and Glendale, officials said.

"Our priority is saving people and saving property", Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said at a news conference in Lake View Terrace, where he was joined by Garcetti.

Around 10 hours later, the LAFD said strong gusting winds meant the fire was erratic and unpredictable, leaving officials "unable to give a firm prediction on all areas potentially at risk".

Both Terrazas and Garcetti said the fire, dubbed La Tuna, is the largest in the city's history in terms of acreage.

"We are anxious about the fire hooking, of course, into the southeast, into Glendale and working its way up from there", Garcetti said.

The La Tuna fire has reportedly grown to about 8,000 acres, prompting mandatory evacuations in some areas, reports Xinhua news agency. However, no injuries have been reported yet.

More news: List of HTC smartphones officially getting Android Oreo update in 2017!

Forecasters at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise on Friday released the four-month outlook that predicts September will continue hot and dry with above normal fire potential in northwestern states, Nevada and California.

Torrid temperatures that have broiled the Southland for much of the week persisted Saturday amid a massive brush fire in the Burbank area and continued calls for residents to conserve electricity.

Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters on Saturday that the blaze, which broke out on Friday and lit up the hills surrounding the northern suburb of Burbank overnight, had already burned 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares). Police expect mandatory evacuation orders to remain in place into Sunday afternoon.

Earlier, the mayor sought to reassure residents that the fire was not as bad as the percent of containment may suggest.

Terrazas said Saturday that area residents should be prepared, with gassed up cars and important documents and pets at the ready.

Much of California was under an extreme heat warning through the weekend with temperatures hitting nearly triple digits in some places, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials announced that 300 homes have been evacuated in Burbank, 250 in Glendale and 180 in Los Angeles.


More news