Speed Reads

wildfires

Southern California fires claim first life

The six wildfires sweeping through Southern California have claimed their first victim, authorities announced Friday. An unidentified 70-year-old woman was killed in a car crash Wednesday as she attempted to evacuate ahead of the flames.

The fires are expected to grow this weekend thanks to seasonal Santa Ana winds, with gusts that could exceed 50 mph in the mountains near San Diego. About 160,000 acres have already been burned by the six fires combined. More than 200,000 people have evacuated their homes, and some 8,700 firefighters are battling the blazes.