A brush fire driven by high winds broke out in Sylmar Thursday evening and quickly scorched as many as 20 acres while potentially threatening homes and prompting evacuations. A man died when he had a heart attack while trying to fight the fire himself, according to the Los Angeles County sheriff.
Thousands of acres of Southern California are now burning as crews work to contain the Saddleridge Fire, Sandalwood Fire, Wendy Fire, Caples Fire, and other simultaneous blazes across the region. More information on evacuation centers in news conference raw.
Southern California Edison cut off power to more than 21,000 customers under its Public Safety Power Shutdown in Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties.
"Nobody is going home right away", he said.
The agency adds, "Wind gusts between 45 and 55 miles per hour are expected across coastal and valley areas, with gusts between 55 and 75 miles per hour in the foothills and mountains".
"A moderate to strong Santa Ana wind event will continue to bring unsafe fire weather conditions to most of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties through late Friday afternoon", NWS said in its latest alert.
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has 500 firefighters from 87 companies and an additional 500 firefighters from the region battling the fire.
Some of the wildfires started because of trees falling on power lines - trees that should have been cleared by PG&E due to their proximity to the lines.
The fire is about 823 acres (333 hectares) and 10% contained.
It's unclear if residents of other areas near the wildfire will be forced to evacuate as well.
Despite an unprecedented effort to prevent wildfires, at least three of them erupted in Southern California on Thursday fueled by strong winds and dry conditions.
Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized PG&E and ordinary customers complained about the inconveniences caused by the unprecedented blackouts that began midweek, with many wondering: Did the utility go too far in its attempt to ward off more deadly fires? By Friday morning, it had torched roughly 4,700 acres, according to the latest alert by the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The outages have been hard for many residents, but particularly those with medical and health needs.