Evacuation Orders Issued for almost 200k as Los Angeles Fires Rage

Wildfire forces thousands to flee homes north of Los Angeles

Shocking satellite images reveal the full extent of wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes and forced 27000 people

"As expected winds have increased dramatically", Cal Fire, the agency responsible for fire protection in the state, said on Twitter.

Erik Oberholtzer, co-founder of the Los Angeles-based chain Tender Greens, said no restaurants were impacted on Wednesday, but that he was concerned for the chain's partner farms in Ventura County, where the burn zone remained out of control Wednesday.

Chef and restaurateur José Andrés, whose World Central Kitchen organized chef volunteers and donations to serve more than 3 million meals to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, in a tweet indicated that his crew was on the way to Los Angeles to work with the Red Cross to feed those displaced by fire. It's not clear whether the building survived. Authorities say 12,000 structures in the region are threatened and more than 200,000 people are under evacuation orders.

Lord said the restaurant wasn't in immediate danger, but she anxious that the winds would pick up overnight.

"We have nothing in Ventura and it's not getting better", Kirwin said.

High winds caused other fires to erupt overnight Tuesday, including one in Los Angeles' affluent Bel Air neighborhood near the Skirball center. Making matters worse, the winds are extremely unpredictable. "This is not flat land, and some areas are inaccessible to get equipment to". "This just shows us that there is no fire season anymore". Firefighters were struggling to keep flames away from the bucolic Ojai Valley, according to state fire officials.

"They've died down slightly, but they're going to increase again (Tuesday) evening, so it's kind of like a seesaw", McLean said. "It's December. We have fires all year round now".

Fires in suburban settings like these are likely to become more frequent as climate change makes fire season a year-round threat and will put greater pressure on local budgets, said Char Miller, a professor of environmental analysis at Pomona College who has written extensively about wildfires.

Ventura County has been exceedingly dry in recent months. The area has received 0.13 of an inch of rain since July 1, said the National Weather Service.

"We had rains last winter that caused all the brush and everything to grow, and throughout the summer they dried out", said Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Joey Marron. "Now with these winds, any little spark is fuel".

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

One key facet of helping protect people from wildfires is preventing and avoiding them in the first place.

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