Firefighters Battling 'Hurricane-Force' Winds in Creek Fire

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Two remain in the hospital, one in critical condition. Hundreds of fire fighters have been working very hard to minimize damage to property and evacuations are taking place in many places in south California, said authorities.

In San Bernardino County east of Los Angeles, firefighters mopped up a handful of fires totaling less than 500 acres, according to fire personnel. Twenty-nine horses died at a ranch in Sylmar, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Terrazas reminded residents in various hillside areas that red-flag parking restrictions remain in effect.

He said evacuations would be prioritised.

The exception to the evacuation order was the Bel- Air Crest housing development, which was not threatened, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

About 100 officers from the Los Angeles Police Department were sent to the neighborhood to handle evacuation orders, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.

Officials said the expect containment to be achieved by Monday, Dec. 11, but Santa Ana winds that would continue to blow forcefully through Sunday could create further complications.

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Just up the hill from the Getty Center along the 405 freeway, the Skirball Cultural Center, a popular Jewish education institute with event space, has also closed due to fire.

The Getty Museum, which is also at risk, said it would remain closed on Thursday.

The nearby University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) cancelled all classes on Thursday, despite the university campus lying outside the evacuation zone on the city's west side.

Although there was significant destruction from the Creek Fire, both the Los Angeles County blazes paled in size compared to the largest fire (Thomas), which had burned 45,000 acres.

UCLA, Cal State Northridge, Los Angeles Valley College and Santa Monica College canceled classes Thursday. A full list of closed schools is available at www.lausd.net. Gusts of more than 40 miles per hour in the fire areas were picking up embers from the burning fields and structures, sending them wafting downwind where they set additional homes on fire.

The fire broke out at 3:42 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Gold Creek and Little Tujunga roads in the Kagel Canyon area and destroyed five homes and 10 outbuildings, damaged another eight homes and seven outbuildings and scorched 15,323 acres, according to Cal Fire.

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