TV blockbuster halts production amid California wildfires
The production of two blockbuster TV shows has been halted by wildfires in California.
HBO’s big-budget drama Westworld and S.W.A.T, a crime series, both announced that filming had been suspended as fires raged through a 60-mile area close to Los Angeles.
“Due to nearby wildfires, Westworld stopped production earlier today and will resume filming as soon as it’s safe to do so,” HBO said in a statement.
The dystopian show is currently filming its second season in an area close to the fires, but producers were concerned about the danger to actors and crew.
They said filming would return to normal when the fires subsided.
The S.W.A.T. writers’ room tweeted that filming was stopped “due to wildfires and unsafe air near our stages”.
The fire has prompted the evacuation of at least 150,000 people, as strong winds and dry vegetation fuelled a blaze that has seen one million acres burn this year.
Thick, choking smoke swept over the huge swathes of LA, forcing authorities to close roads and urge inhabitants to stay inside their homes.
Fire chiefs say climate change has contributed to the spread of the fires, which have consumed more than twice the recent five-year-average.
More than 3,000 homes have been threatened by the blaze and, although firefighters have been unable to reach where the damage is at its worst, officials suspect hundreds have been destroyed. In October at least 10 people died in the blazes.
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