Map of hot spots: See where California wildfires are growing

New Fire Threatens Getty Center/405 Freeway

New Fire Threatens Getty Center/405 Freeway

"But these are also days that show the resilience of our city", Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, thanking firefighters from Los Angeles and other agencies and all city personnel.

"What you'll see today is more resources up there making an aggressive attack, doing everything we can to try to get our arms all the way around it ... to work towards full containment", Hogan said.

The Thomas Fire, the largest of the blazes, is burning through Ventura County toward Los Angeles and is now more than twice the size of Washington, D.C. and showing no signs of slowing.

The groups' concerns have been aimed primarily at the Los Angeles Police Department, which has also been authorized by the Police Commission to begin a pilot program for using drones in select tactical situations. The Rye and Creek fires, continued burning through a combined 29 square miles north of Los Angeles, while the Skirball Fire's smaller reach forced evacuations in ritzy Bel Air and caused the University of California in Los Angeles to cancel classes on Thursday, just two days before final exams.

All Los Angeles Unified School District schools in the San Fernando Valley, as well as 17 schools on Los Angeles' west side, were shuttered through Friday.

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More than 4,000 firefighters and dozens of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters have been deployed to combat the fires in Los Angeles County and Ventura County, fire officials said. "It's very sad", said one resident standing near the fence of a ranch in the rural area, where many horses have had to be evacuated.

The fire was burning in the same general area as the devastating Bel Air Fire of 1961. Fire crews managed to keep the blaze from the town's edge, although new lines, blown by off-shore winds, remained a peril. That blaze destroyed about 500 homes and led to various policy changes, including a prohibition on wood-shingle roofs and the strict requirement to remove brush from around properties.

The Skirball fire - near a cultural center of the same name and captured in apocalyptic images - also prompted authorities to close the 405 Freeway, a major commuting corridor famous for its traffic congestion. Terrazas urged people to monitor news broadcasts and social media, including www.LAFD.org.

The fires have periodically closed major routes in the area, including Interstate 405 and Highway 101, making it more hard for people to get around.

Shortly before 7 a.m., the California Highway Patrol closed the entire 405 Freeway between the Ventura (101) Freeway and the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, along with on-ramps and off-ramps and freeway transition roads in the affected area. While the freeway closures were in the name of safety, one negative result was a massive gridlock in one of Los Angeles' most congested and busy areas.

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