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Southern California firefighters are working overtime to protect homes in Los Angeles. A new forest fire broke out in some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Los Angeles, which includes Bel Air Estates.
USA TODAY

The wildfires that broke out in southern California have destroyed more than 184 homes and forced the evacuation of thousands of residents.

This is what we know so far.

When did it start?

The biggest fire started on Monday night in Santa Paula, California, with the help of the fierce Santa Ana winds.

More: You can see massive smoke plumes from southern California fires from space

Related: Winds from hell: notorious & # 39; Santa Anas & # 39; Wild Fires of California

Where is it now?

On Wednesday, the big concern was a new wildfire in western Los Angeles. Four houses burned near Bel Air before the firefighters won.

How many fires are there?

There were five separate fires:

• The Thomas fire, which began in Ventura County northwest of downtown Los Angeles, is the largest.

• The Creek Fire, north of downtown Los Angeles, was at Lakeview Terrace and Sylmar.

• The Rye fire is near Santa Clarita.

• The Little Mountain Fire in San Bernardino. [19659020] • The Skirball fire is one of the most recent, starting Wednesday morning near the Skirball Cultural Center in western Los Angeles.

Are fires contained?

More than 1,100 firefighters have battled Thomas's erratic fire. There is no containment in sight. The Creek Fire and Skirball Fire are also not contained. Little Mountain Fire is contained at least 50%.

The threat of rye fire in Simi Valley has been reduced due to nighttime firefighting efforts, Simi Valley police said on Wednesday. According to The Associated Press, firefighters halted the spread of the wildfire near the famed Getty Museum and the Bel Air neighborhood.

How many hectares have been burned?

The Thomas fire has burned at least 65,000 acres. The Creek fire burned at least 11,000 acres and the Rye fire destroyed at least 7,000 acres. The Skirball fire covered 450 acres as of Wednesday morning.

How many people have evacuated?

Nearly 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate.

How many structures have been burned?

The Thomas fire had destroyed at least 150 structures. The Creek fire has destroyed at least 30 structures. At least four houses were destroyed at Skirball, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday.

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What is fueling these destructive fires?

The Santa Ana winds occur most frequently in the fall and winter. They push the dry air of the interior deserts of California and the Southwest toward the Pacific, in contrast to the normal wind pattern. During the last fires, they reached speeds of more than 45 miles per hour. Unusually, they were not backed by high temperatures.

Contributor: The Associated Press

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