California hit with second bout of wildfires

Doug Mendoza
December 8, 2017

In tweets on Wednesday, Murdoch's Moraga winery did not address the issue of damage to the property, but stressed its priority was the safety and wellbeing of the neighbourhood's residents and first responders. Some buildings in the estate's upper vineyard area may have been damaged but the winery and house are believed to be intact, the media mogul said.

Mr Murdoch bought the estate in 2013 for $28.8m after seeing an advert for the property in in Wall Street Journal, a United States newspaper he owns.

Edison, the state's electric grid operator, declared a local transmission emergency after the loss of high-voltage power lines serving the Ventura and Santa Barbara areas. Almost 200,000 residents have been issued mandatory evacuation orders.

Mr Murdoch, who owns British newspapers The Sun and The Times, lives in a mansion on his $30 million Moraga Vineyards estate, dubbed "the only commercial vineyard in Los Angeles". "There will be no ability to fight fire in these kinds of winds".

On Wednesday firefighters managed to stop the spread of a wildfire that has destroyed homes near the world-famous Getty museum in Los Angeles. In the posh Bel Air area, wildfire has destroyed "at least four and possibly six homes" and forced evacuation.

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No other wine producers have reported damage from the current fires, although many buildings in the area are now under threat from fire damage.

No civilian casualties or fatalities have been reported.

Several other fires are raging across southern California, with the Skirball the latest to ignite due to 50mph wind gusts - which are set to increase to 70mph on Thursday.

The last time Southern California saw a blaze in December that burned thousands of hectares was in 2006.

The largest blaze is the Thomas fire in Ventura County, just north of LA, which has devastated 65,000 acres and forced 27,000 people to flee after igniting on Monday evening.

Other reports by GizPress

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