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California wildfires force Rams' Todd Gurley & other players to flee

Thomas Barrabi

At least three Los Angeles Rams players were among the 100,000 residents of the greater Los Angeles area forced to evacuate on Friday after wildfires swept along the city’s northern edge.

Star Rams running back Todd Gurley confirmed on Twitter on Friday morning that he was subject to mandatory evacuations ordered by local authorities. Sean McVay, head coach of the Rams, said at a press conference that linebacker Samson Ebukam and safety John Johnson III were also affected.

“It’s so unfortunate, and it gives you such a perspective. This is now the third year in a row that stuff has happened,” McVay told reporters. “Obviously, I’m newer to this area, but it’s so unfortunate when you watch people have to go through that. It’s affected three of our players, right, and hopefully it’ll be something that they’re able to return back to their homes with no damage done and guys get everything under control.”

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said the evacuations applied to more than 20,000 homes. At least two people have died and at least 25 homes have been destroyed by the fires.

Utility firm Pacific Gas & Electric cut power for 500,000 customers in the region in a bid to prevent equipment from causing additional fires.

At present, the wildfires have yet to have a major impacted on planned activities and operations for other local sports teams. A Los Angeles Chargers representative said the team’s practice facility, located well south of the wildfires, was unaffected. The team has made sizable donations to the American Red Cross’s efforts to aid wildfire victims in recent years.

A spokesman for the University of Southern California’s athletics department said activities have proceeded as normal.

“Our campus has been in touch with fire and air quality officials and been told the fires and air quality have no effect or restrictions on any of our sports activities,” the USC spokesman said.

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Representatives for UCLA, the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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