Ventura (CNN) – Wind-whipped wildfires raged for a third day Wednesday in Southern California — including a fresh blaze near the posh Bel Air area and Interstate 405 — threatening further damage after burning more than 65,000 acres, torching scores of buildings and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.
The fires are burning extremely dry terrain along the northern and western edges of Los Angeles, and, more extensively, Ventura County, northwest of the nation’s second most-populous city.
Heavy Santa Ana winds blamed for spreading the infernos still threaten to multiply the destruction. Among the smaller fires that popped up Wednesday morning was a 50-acre blaze burning near I-405 close to the Getty Center arts complex, Bel Air and UCLA.
Videos of that fire showed bright flames glowing ominously close to I-405 motorists early Wednesday.
The winds might die down during sunlight Wednesday, but they’re expected to pick up in the evening and Thursday — perhaps as gusty as 50 mph, posing a risk of further spread.
Smoke collected even in areas that weren’t burning. Health officials warned people in the heavily populated San Fernando Valley and other parts of the northern Los Angeles area to limit their time outdoors.