Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Nation & World

Bel-Air wildfire joins the siege across Southern California

LOS ANGELES — A wildfire erupted in Los Angeles’ exclusive Bel-Air section Wednesday as yet another part of Southern California found itself under siege from an outbreak of wind-whipped blazes that have consumed multimillion-dollar houses and tract homes alike.

Hundreds of homes across the L.A. metropolitan area and beyond were feared destroyed since Monday, but firefighters were only slowly managing to make their way into some of the hard-hit areas for an accurate count.

As many as five fires have closed highways, schools and museums, shut down production of TV series and cast a hazardous haze over the region. About 200,000 people were under evacuation orders. No deaths and only a few injuries were reported.

From the beachside city of Ventura, where rows of homes were leveled, to the rugged foothills north of Los Angeles, where more than two dozen horses died at a boarding stable, to Bel-Air, where the rich and famous have sweeping views of L.A. below, fierce Santa Ana winds sweeping in from the desert fanned the flames and fears.

"God willing, this will slow down so the firefighters can do their job," said Maurice Kaboud, who ignored an evacuation order and stood in his backyard with a garden hose at the ready.

Air tankers that were grounded most of Tuesday because of high winds flew on Wednesday, dropping flame retardant. Firefighters rushed to attack the fires before winds picked up again.

They were expected to gust as high as 80 mph overnight into today, possibly creating unprecedented fire danger. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which uses a color-coded wind index, issued a purple forecast, the most severe, for the first time ever, director Ken Pimlott said.

"They’re going to be extreme tomorrow," Pimlott said. "We need to have everybody’s heads up — heads on a swivel — and pay very close attention."

Before dawn Wednesday, flames exploded on the steep slopes of Sepulveda Pass, closing a section of heavily traveled Interstate 405 and destroying multiple homes in Bel-Air, where houses range from $2 million to tens of millions of dollars.

Many schools across Los Angeles were closed because of poor air quality and classes were canceled at 265 schools today.

UCLA, at the edge of the Bel-Air evacuation zone, canceled afternoon classes and its evening basketball game. Students on campus wore dust and surgical masks.

By late afternoon, firefighters said they had controlled the fire’s advance.

Comments
Trump accusers renew sexual misconduct charges against him, say it was ‘heartbreaking’ to see him elected

Trump accusers renew sexual misconduct charges against him, say it was ‘heartbreaking’ to see him elected

As the country grapples with a national reckoning over sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men, three women who accused the most high-profile man in America again questioned Monday why their claims did nothing to stop him from winning the ...
Published: 12/11/17
New evacuations as huge Southern California fire flares up

New evacuations as huge Southern California fire flares up

VENTURA, Calif. — Monster fires in Southern California raged for a seventh day on Sunday, edging into Santa Barbara County while leaving residents of neighboring Ventura County to deal with the aftermath of a historic inferno.As hundreds fled for saf...
Published: 12/10/17
American  Nobel laureate worries politics could undermine science

American Nobel laureate worries politics could undermine science

STOCKHOLM — An American researcher who shared this year’s Nobel Prize for medicine bluntly criticized political developments at home in his address at the awards’ gala banquet Sunday night. Michael Rosbash, who was honored for his work on circadian r...
Published: 12/10/17
Israeli strikes kill 2 Hamas men after Gaza rocket attack

Israeli strikes kill 2 Hamas men after Gaza rocket attack

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli airstrikes killed two Hamas members early Saturday following a rocket attack on Israel, in the latest fallout from President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which has roiled the regi...
Published: 12/09/17
Firefighters begin to turn the tide on Southern California wildfires

Firefighters begin to turn the tide on Southern California wildfires

LOS ANGELES — Firefighters hoped to make more progress Saturday against the wildfires burning from Ojai to Oceanside that have destroyed more than 790 structures and forced some 90,000 people to flee from their homes.As Santa Ana winds finally died d...
Published: 12/09/17

Polluted air, health problems brought by California fires are expected to linger

CARPINTERIA, Calif. — A week of major, wind-whipped fires across Southern California has caused significant air pollution and health problems.The air quality is worst in and around fires burning from Ventura County to San Diego County, but the smoke ...
Published: 12/09/17

With 2020 census looming, worries about fairness and accuracy

WASHINGTON — Census experts and public officials are expressing growing concerns that the bedrock mission of the 2020 census — an accurate and trustworthy head count of everyone in the United States — is imperiled, with worrisome implications.Prepara...
Published: 12/09/17
Trump hails civil rights heroes; protesters pan his record

Trump hails civil rights heroes; protesters pan his record

JACKSON, Miss.—Protesters greeted President Donald Trump in the Mississippi capital Saturday as he came to speak at the opening of a civil rights museum.After the White House announced this week that Trump would visit the Mississippi Civil Rights Mus...
Published: 12/09/17
Iraq declares war against ISIS has ended

Iraq declares war against ISIS has ended

BAGHDAD — After more than three years of combat operations, Iraq announced Saturday that the fight against the Islamic State group is over after the country’s security forces drove the extremists from all of the territory they once held. Iraqi and Am...
Published: 12/09/17
President Trump says the U.S. ‘cannot afford’ a Roy Moore loss in Alabama

President Trump says the U.S. ‘cannot afford’ a Roy Moore loss in Alabama

PENSACOLA — President Donald Trump on Friday urged voters to elect a Republican Senate candidate in Alabama who has been dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct, warning that America "cannot afford" to have a Democrat win the hard-fought campaign ...
Published: 12/08/17