Speed Reads


Fires in 5 Southern California counties burn more than 125,000 acres

Firefighters are continuing to battle blazes in Ventura and Los Angeles counties that broke out earlier this week, forcing more than 200,000 people to evacuate and destroying at least 160 structures.

The Thomas Fire in Ventura County is headed toward Ojai, and authorities said they are concerned that strong winds and dry air could fuel the flames for weeks. It has already burned 96,000 acres and is just 5 percent contained. While two smaller fires that broke out in San Bernardino County are now fully contained, two new fires erupted in Riverside and San Diego counties Thursday morning and afternoon. The Lilac Fire in northern San Diego County has already scorched 2,500 acres and torched 20 structures, fire officials said, the flames fanned by strong winds and growing at a "dangerous" rate. In Riverside County, the Liberty Fire has burned 300 acres in Murrieta and destroyed one building; as of Thursday evening it is 5 percent contained.