Firefighters trying to contain the raging wildfires in Los Angeles are asking people to refrain from using GPS navigation systems as these are sending them to roads currently on fire.
The Los Angeles Police Department has asked drivers to avoid navigation apps, which are steering users on to more open routes — in this case, streets in the neighbourhoods that are on fire.
Following officers' directions and obeying the roadblocks "will help us, and it will help LA City Fire," said LAPD Cmdr. Blake Chow, quoted by the Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters are scrambling to contain the Skirball fire burning in Bel-Air, as the return of strong winds threaten to blow the fire across the 405 freeway.
Ferocious wildfires continue to rage across the whole state.
The wave of fires broke out early this week spread quickly and mercilessly. The largest blaze expanded across nearly 300sq km - a region almost as big as Wellington.
This largest fire, known as the Thomas Fire, had erupted in Ventura County northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The Thomas Fire tore across 26,300ha by Wednesday morning, and the blaze destroyed hundreds of homes, threatened 12,000 structures and forced 27,000 people to evacuate, officials said. Most of those who fled were left wondering whether their homes were among those destroyed.
More than 1000 firefighters were in the area, county officials said, but they could not enter the fire area because of the "intensity of the fire". Stretches of cities and communities were evacuated, and numerous schools across the area were shut down.
Govenor Jerry Brown declared states of emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and his office said the blazes threatened thousands of homes.
"It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so," Brown said.
- Additional reporting by The Washington Post
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