California wildfire threatens to destroy Ronald Reagan Library

Firefighters have raced to protect the Ronald Regan Library as huge bush fires rip through the hillside of California.

The region is under a rare ‘extreme red-flag warning’ from weather officials as hurricane speeds of wind cause the flames to spread.

Wildfires across the state have led to mass evacuations and power cuts, with officials estimating over 6,500 homes to be in danger.

The so-called Easy Fire broke out near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on Wednesday morning and has burnt more than 1,400 acres already.

The Regan Library opened in 1991 and is the home to priceless items documenting President Ronald Reagan’s eight years as governor of California and eight years as president of the United States.

Apocalyptic-like pictures show a long wall of flames and thick grey smoke encircling the iconic building as concern grows for people’s safety.

Some library staff, including the executive director, are still on the property, local media report.

Hundreds of firefighters are tacking the blaze and have asked staff to take shelter in the building.

The extreme weather alert covers LA, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.

There is concern that the winds will fan the nearby Getty Fire as forecasters warn that they could hit their highest speeds of the season.

At least 12 homes have been destroyed five others damaged in the Getty Fire, named after art collection close by.

Authorities warn thousands of structures are at risk as more than 1,000 firefighters attempt to contain the flames.

Investigators believe the blaze started when a tree branch fell onto powerlines during high winds.

In Northern California, firefighters are still battling a 76,000 acre blaze, dubbed the Kincade fire

That started on Monday and has caused destruction to almost 200 homes and buildings.

The Kincade fire has left thousands of people without power as companies shut off electricity to prevent another blaze from breaking out.

Rhett Pratt, from the Californian fire service, said: ‘Anytime the wind kicks back up that creates an opportunity for new spot fires to show themselves.’

Fire chief Ralph M Terrazas told reporters that it only takes one ember to start a new bush fire, adding they can travel for several miles in the wind.

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