Southern California’s huge wildfire roared to life again Tuesday in a mountain wilderness area. But in a sign of significant progress against the blaze, more neighbourhoods were reopened to thousands of residents who fled last week. A massive plume rose suddenly at midmorning in the Santa Monica Mountains near the community of Lake Sherwood, prompting authorities to send numerous aircraft to drop fire retardant and water on the blaze. Forecasters had warned of ongoing fire danger because of persistent Santa Ana winds, the withering, dry gusts that sweep out of the interior toward the coast, pushing back moist ocean breezes. But except for an apartment building that burned overnight in coastal Malibu, there was little sign of fire activity elsewhere in the vast fire zone west of Los Angeles. Officials tempered optimism with caution, saying there were hot spots and pockets of unburned vegetation. “We are not out of the woods yet. We still have some incredibly tough conditions ahead of us,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said. The death toll from the Woolsey fire stood at two – a pair of adults found last week in a car overtaken by flames. They have not been identified. The number of homes and other structures destroyed had reached 435. Damage assessments were continuing, with crews having to gain access to canyon areas on foot. “That number is going to rise significantly,” Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said. Residents who stayed behind in coastal communities that were cut off by road closures were getting supplies by boat. Gas, food, baby wipes and horse pellets were among the items brought ashore in the Paradise Cove area of Malibu. Hindustan Times, owned by HT Media Ltd, is one of India’s largest publications that provides unbiased news, analysis and features on politics, sports, entertainment, lifestyle and more. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep.
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