IN PICTURES | California wildfires rage forced more than 200,000 people to flee, luxury mansions threatened

Published: 07th December 2017 05:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2017 05:55 PM  

An inferno engulfed the Los Angeles region on Wednesday, forcing more than 200,000 people to flee and threatening thousands of homes, including mansions in the luxurious Bel-Air neighbourhood. IN PIC: Motorists on Highway 101 watch flames from the Thomas fire leap above the roadway north of Ventura, California on Wednesday, December 6, 2017. 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. (Photo | AP)
The flames have swallowed about 80,000 acres (32,000 hectares) in just over a day since the 'Thomas' fire, currently the state's largest, broke out, leaving at least one dead in an area about 45 minutes from downtown LA. IN PIC: Flames rise near a home as a wildfire burns in Ventura, California. (Photo | AP)
The area battled gridlocked traffic as residents fled ash and smoke that churned over the smoldering hillside in the United States' second-largest city. IN PIC: A photographer struggles as he walks through smoke from a wildfire burning near a home in Ventura, California. (Photo | AP)
Police knocked on doors and used loudspeakers to make sure everybody left their mansions. IN PIC: A wildfire threatens a home in Ventura, California. (Photo | AP)
Forecasters predicted that winds could cause fires to spread further, threatening more upscale homes and the acclaimed Getty Center museum. IN PIC: Flames from the Thomas fire burn above a truck on Highway 101 north of Ventura, California. (Photo | AP)
The 'Skirball' fire ignited before 5:00 am (1300 GMT) and quickly grew to engulf about 150 acres around the district, home to celebrities and billionaires including SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and pop superstar Beyonce. IN PIC: A mansion that survived a wildfire sits on a hilltop in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles. (Photo | AP)
At least 4,000 firefighters were deployed across the entire fire zone, including on the scene of the 'Rye' blaze, which had grown to 7,000 acres in the Santa Clarita area, as well as the 'Creek' fire north of downtown Los Angeles that had grown to more than 11,000 acres. IN PIC: A firefighter mops up at a home consumed by a wildfire in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles. (Photo | AP)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it had released funds for relief services.IN PIC: Wildfire survivors Marolyn Romero-Sim left, and Hugo Romero-Rodriguez, middle, and their 9-year-old daughter, Milagros, sit inside the evacuation center at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, Calif. Their RV burned up with all their possessions in Ventura, California. (Photo | AP)
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