A Western-backed Saudi-led coalition scored its first major gains in Yemen since former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed on Monday when local fighters captured an area on the Red Sea coast from Houthi rebels, residents said on Thursday. Saleh, who had made common cause with the Houthis after they captured the capital Sanaa in 2014, switched sides in an announcement last week that plunged the country deeper into turmoil. Residents said southern Yemeni fighters and allied local forces captured al-Khoukha district located some 350 km (220 miles) south-west of Sanaa after heavy fighting over Wednesday night which also involved coalition forces.
The owners of a California ranch in the path of one of the devastating wildfires in the region have returned home to a gruesome sight. The charred remains of 29 horses were left behind by the Creek Fire, one of five that has led to the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people in Southern California. Patricia Padilla, the owner of the ranch, said she agonized over leaving the horses, but the firemen who knocked at her door and told her to evacuate had made it clear that it was a matter of life and death that she and her family leave immediately.
As wildfires in California rage on Earth, astronauts watch from space. Crewmembers onboard the International Space Station have taken some particularly arresting images of smoke plumes pouring out of the fires burning more than 100,000 acres of land in Southern California. SEE ALSO: Thursday is one of the most dangerous wildfire days in recent Southern California history "Thank you to all the first responders, firefighters, and citizens willing to help fight these California wildfires," NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik said in a tweet on Thursday. Today’s pass over SoCal unfortunately doesn’t look any better. The fires east of Camp Pendleton and in Baja are visible as well. #CaliforniaWildfires pic.twitter.com/khM9TK1u0F — Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) December 7, 2017 Bresnik appears to have caught sight of the Thomas Fire, a 96,000 acre blaze that was 5 percent contained as of 4 p.m. ET Thursday. Thank you to all the first responders, firefighters, and citizens willing to help fight these California wildfires. #CaliforniaWildfires pic.twitter.com/TyeGx4z85Q — Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) December 7, 2017 "Firefighters continue to work aggressively to protect life and property while working on control efforts around the fire perimeter," CalFire said in an incident update. The fires are being fed by the desiccated remains of lush vegetation that grew during one of the wettest winters on record in California, only to endure a record warm and dry summer. That, plus the strong Santa Ana winds have combined to create ideal conditions for devastating wildfires. Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy also caught sight of the fires from 250 miles up. #Fires in Southern #California…The smoke plume from the California wildfires as seen from the International Space Station. pic.twitter.com/sP40CO3tIl — Сергей Рязанский (@SergeyISS) December 7, 2017 Продолжаю серию снимков Южной #Калифорнии, где до сих пор бушуют лесные #пожары… pic.twitter.com/Dau00scis0 — Сергей Рязанский (@SergeyISS) December 8, 2017 Some new photos of forest #fires in Southern #California… pic.twitter.com/fb8qKZE2Sj — Сергей Рязанский (@SergeyISS) December 8, 2017 Thursday is a historically dangerous day in Southern California with wildfires raging near Los Angeles and San Diego. Freeways were shutdown as wildfires burned next to roads, and tens of thousands were evacuated from their homes. Yet from space, the pillars of smoke look strangely peaceful, only hinting at the violence on the landscape below. WATCH: California wildfire victims returning to their destroyed homes is absolutely heart-wrenching