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Biggest LA fire slow down as survivors pick up the pieces

Biggest LA fire slow down as survivors pick up the pieces

Crews battling wildfires ravaging southern California for a week have managed to slow the spread of the worst of the blazes, officials said Tuesday, as residents were taking stock of the catastrophic damage.

But the biggest “Thomas” fire, which has charred nearly 95,000 hectares (234,000 acres) of land, remains only 20 percent contained, according to official data, as firefighters warned of an ongoing threat. Evacuation orders were in place for threatened areas in the Santa Barbara region about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Los Angeles. In the past day or so, the blaze figure has grown by around a thousand hectares. Nearly 6,400 firefighters have been toiling for a week against blazes fueled by bone dry conditions and powerful winds. Winds will blow at up to 65 km per hour (40 miles per hour), forecasters said, as public health authorities urged people to wear face masks to protect against ash and smoke. Source: AFP

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