Technology giant Apple is donating $1 million dollars to help with fire aid in Southern California, according to reports.
In what is turning out to be the fifth-largest fire in the Southern California’s history, resources (financial and humanitarian) have been pooling in to bring the situation under control.
In an attempt to aid the firefighting efforts, Apple has reportedly donated $1million, similar to when the fires raged parts of Northen California in October.
The blaze was threatening thousands of homes as it churned through coastal mountains amid persistently dangerous weather conditions.
Red Flag warnings for fire danger due to Santa Ana winds and a critical lack of moisture were extended into the week instead of expiring Monday afternoon as was initially forecast.
“It doesn’t get much drier than this folks,” the National Weather Service Service tweeted, adding that more than 80 observation sites in the region reported afternoon relative humidity levels between just 1 and 9 per cent.
Yesterday, ash fell like snow and heavy smoke had residents gasping for air in foothill towns near Santa Barbara, the latest flare-up after a week of wind-fanned wildfires throughout the region.
With acrid smoke thick in the air, even residents not under evacuation orders were leaving, fearing another shutdown of a key coastal highway that was closed intermittently last week.
Officials handed out masks to those who stayed behind in Montecito, an exclusive community about 120 kilometers northwest of Los Angeles that’s home to stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and Drew Barrymore.
Actor Rob Lowe wore a mask as he live-streamed his family evacuating Sunday from their smoke-shrouded home. “Praying for the people in my area,” he said to his Instagram followers. “Hope everybody’s getting out safe like we are, and thanks for the prayers and thoughts. And good luck to the firefighters, we need you!”
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted that neighbours were helping each other and their animals get to safety.
“I’m sending lots of love and gratitude to the fire department and sheriffs. Thank you all,” she wrote.
The blaze known as the Thomas fire has destroyed 683 homes, officials said. It was partially contained after burning 937 square kilometers of dry brush and timber.