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California wildfires: Frantic man stops on highway, rescues wild rabbit from flames – National

A frantic man managed to coax a wild rabbit to safety as flames from California’s devastating wildfires threatened a highway in the Los Angeles area Wednesday.

Video shows the panicked man, wearing only shorts, shoes and a hoodie, chasing the small rabbit along the side of a highway before the critter hopped into burning brush next to the road.

The passerby is seen jumping up and down, slapping his thighs as he called out to the rabbit in an effort to coax the animal from the flames. Eventually the unidentified man was able to grab the creature in his hands, rescuing it from the inferno.

READ MORE: Relentless Santa Ana winds continue to fan devastating California wildfires

At least four major wildfires are burning out of control in the Los Angeles area. They have forced nearly 200,000 people to flee their homes.

According to Cal Fire, the Creek Fire burning in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles remains only five per cent contained and has torched over 5,000 hectares and has destroyed at least 30 homes.

WATCH: Video coverage of devastating California wildfires

Northwest of Los Angeles, the Rye Fire has burned through nearly 3,000 hectares and remains only 10 per cent contained.

The Skirball Fire, flared up early Wednesday in the Bel Air neighbourhood and has torched about 200 hectares and remains only five per cent contained.

The largest of the four, the Thomas Fire, has burned over 36,000 hectares and destroyed 150 structures. The blaze remains only five per cent contained.

READ MORE: Here’s what you need to know about infernos engulfing Los Angeles area

According to Los Angeles’ KABC Eyewitness News, the Creek Fire is responsible for the deaths of nearly 40 horses that were trapped in a barn early Wednesday. Ranch staff told the news station the smell of smoke woke them up at about 4 a.m. They went to the barn only to see the roof on fire.

Staffers attempted to open the barn doors to allow the horses to flee but the heat and flames were too intense to approach the barn.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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