California wildfires prompt massive evacuation


Man watches wildfire in Ventura, CA, USA, 06 Dec 2017 (AP)

More than 200,000 residents have been evacuated in Southern California as hot, dry Santa Ana winds fan the flames of aggressive wildfires.

The winds which blow westward from the Mohave Desert are forecast to gust up to 130 km/h before subsiding by this weekend.

Firefighters say it will be virtually impossible to fight the blazes in those conditions.

Hundreds of homes surrounding Los Angeles have burned to the ground and the fires have even been jumping freeways.

Heavy rainfall earlier this year helped suppress a lengthy drought but a record hot summer has created extremely parched conditions.


Record highs in Yukon!

Early December is normally quite frosty in Yukon but the jet stream is pushing warm Pacific air into the northern territory breaking record highs.

The current typical high in Whitehorse is -10 C and the maximum on 6 December was 6.7 C breaking the record of 4.4 C from 1960.

Several other communities broke records too including Carmacks at 6.1 C and Haines Junction at 5.5 C.

Environment Canada says the unusual warmth is expected to stick around for a few more days.

UPDATE: Whitehorse also set a new record high of 8.0 C on 7 December.  The old record was 6.1 C from 1960.