Smoke from the fast-moving Creek fire near Sylmar has caused poor air quality, prompting Los Angeles County officials to urge residents in neighboring communities to avoid going outdoors and to limit exercise.
The unhealthy air quality has been declared in portions of the San Fernando Valley, Lake View Terrace, Sylmar, Malibu and Santa Monica.
Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer Jeffrey Gunzenhauser urged residents living in those communities, especially children and the elderly, to be especially cautious
More than a dozen schools in the San Fernando Valley have shut down Tuesday because of the threat of nearby fires. The Los Angeles Unified School District’s website has information about the latest closures and where students are being relocated.
For now, the district says the following schools are affected:
Harding Elementary Hubbard Elementary Sunland Elementary Plainview Elementary Brainard Elementary Pinewood Elementary Apperson Street Elementary Mountain View Elementary Mount Gleason Middle Verdugo Hills High Mt. Lukens Continuation High
Darlene Gonzalez stood in a neighbor’s driveway in Santa Paula, clutching her phone in both hands as she recorded video of the Thomas fire moving down a hillside, toward her home.
For hours, flames had been creeping down the hill, leaving trees and chaparral blackened and smoldering. Gonzalez's house — the tan one with the big brown porch — stood untouched, but flames burned about 40 feet away.
She tried not to cry as a gust of wind fanned the flames closer.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had a strong message for residents living near the fast-moving Creek fire above Sylmar and Lake View Terrace: Be ready to go.
“We expect this weather for the next five days, though today may be the most intense of days,” Garcetti said at a news conference Tuesday morning.
“So residents as far west as Porter Ranch should be ready. We don’t expect today that sort of spread of the fire, but everybody on the northern edge of the San Fernando valley, be prepared because this could be a fast-moving fire or we could see embers that are burning into residential areas.”
Extreme events, including fires and hurricanes, have been hitting the the country from all sides. Two major fires are raging in Ventura and near Sylmar this morning and have forced the evacuation of thousands. To what extent does climate change influence these events?
Here are a few ways researchers think that climate change’s effects could play out.