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California wildfire bigger than New York city, 5th largest in history

Fanned by strong winds, it has become the fifth largest wildfire in recorded state history after it grew by more than 50,000 acres in a day.

IANS  |  Los Angeles 

California wildfire
New evacuations were ordered in Carpinteria, a seaside city in Santa Barbara County that has been under fire threat for days. (Photo: AP/PTI)

The most destructive wildfire raging in southern has expanded significantly, scorching an area larger than New York City, according to fire officials.

The in and counties has consumed 230,000 acres since it broke out on December 4, reports the BBC.

Fanned by strong winds, it has become the fifth largest wildfire in recorded state history after it grew by more than 50,000 acres in a day.

Residents in coastal beach communities have been ordered to evacuate.

On Sunday, firefighters reported that 15 per cent of the blaze had been contained but were forced to downgrade that to 10 per cent as it continued to spread.

"This is a menacing fire, certainly, but we have a lot of people working very diligently to bring it under control," County Sheriff Bill Brown said.

The other fires hitting are largely controlled, but 200,000 people have evacuated their homes and hundreds of buildings have been destroyed since December 4.

Evacuation orders were issued overnight on Sunday for parts of close to Los Padres National Forest, about 160 km northwest of Los Angeles, the BBC reported.

has spent the past week battling wildfires.

Six large blazes, and other smaller ones.

The - named according to where it started, near the Thomas Aquinas College - is by far the largest of the fires.

The authorities issued a purple alert - the highest level warning - amid what it called "extremely critical fire weather", while US President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency.

On Saturday, Governor described the situation as "the new normal" and predicted vast fires, fuelled by climate change, "could happen every year or every few years".

First Published: Mon, December 11 2017. 12:22 IST
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