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Photos: Firefighters work tirelessly to protect Ventura, Los Angeles amidst explosive wildfires

December 07, 2017; 11:19 AM


Firefighters struggle to contain six explosive wildfires that burn throughout Southern California.

The fires have forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate and have caused damage to tens of thousands of structures.

Wildfire control efforts are further hindered by ferocious Santa Ana winds, which will continue to whip through Southern California the rest of this week. The winds threaten to spread the existing blazes and cause any new fires to spread rapidly.

The largest of five active fires, the Thomas Fire, began on Monday in Ventura County, California, prompting the start of control and rescue efforts. The fire burned around 132,000 acres and only five percent was contained as of Thursday evening. It continues to threaten tens of thousands of structures with hundreds already destroyed.

In Los Angeles County, the Creek Fire and Rye Fire have burned 15,323 acres and 6,049 acres, respectively. Both fires triggered evacuation orders and road closures, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

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A dangerous wildfire erupted in the tony Bel Air area of Los Angeles early on Wednesday, as firefighters battled the three other destructive blazes across Southern California. This fire is being called the Skirball Fire.

The Skirball Fire raged into a wealthy Southern California neighborhood, destroying at least six homes, threatening hundreds more and scorching a building at a winery owned by billionaire Rupert Murdoch, according to the Associated Press.

Two more wildfires broke out in San Diego County around midday Thursday. The Lilac Fire and the Liberty Fire began around the same time, burning 4,100 acres and 300 acres, respectively.

More lives and homes will be threatened, and firefighters will need to continue their efforts to tame the flames throughout this week.

LA firefighters 12-5-17

Firefighters gather in front of a residential area as a wildfire burns along the 101 Freeway Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LA fire building threatened 12-5-17

A wildfire threatens homes as it burns along the 101 Freeway Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LA firefighter burning building 12-5-17

A Los Angeles County firefighter puts water a burning house in a wildfire in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Ferocious winds in Southern California have whipped up explosive wildfires, burning a psychiatric hospital and scores of other structures. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

LA firefighter battles hot wildfire spot 12-5-17

A Los Angeles County firefighter prepares to battle a hot spot on the "Creek Fire" in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

LA wildfire rescue 12-6-2016

A Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter makes a water drop on flames sweeping up a steep canyon wall, threatening homes on a ridge line after the Skirball wildfire swept through the Bel Air district of Los Angeles, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

LA wildfire firefighters 12-6-17

Los Angeles firefighters battle to contain flames to a burning home and prevent the fire's spread to adjoining properties in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Wildfire firefighter 12-5-17

A Los Angeles County firefighter puts water on a burning car during the Creek Fire in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

LA firefighters working together

Firefighters put out a wildfire burning in an orchard Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Santa Paula, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LA firefighters damaged home 12-6-17

Firefighters removes furniture from a home destroyed in a wildfire in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. A dangerous new wildfire erupted in the tony Bel Air area of Los Angeles early Wednesday as firefighters battled three other destructive blazes across Southern California. (AP Photo/Jae Hong)

LA firefighter Christmas tree 12-6-17

A firefighter puts out a spot fire next to a Christmas tree saved from a wildfire in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. A dangerous new wildfire erupted in the tony Bel Air area of Los Angeles early Wednesday as firefighters battled three other destructive blazes across Southern California. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Mansion CA wildfire rescue 12-6-17

A fire truck is parked outside a mansion as smoke from a wildfire rises behind the property Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

lilac fire ap

A wildfire burns off of the hills next to CA-126 highway, just northwest of Fillmore, Calif, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. Thousands of homes remain threatened by at least four major Southern California wildfires that have destroyed structures and sent residents fleeing. (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers)

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