Ventura County brush fires: 2 separate blazes burning in Simi Valley, Santa Rosa Valley

Ventura County brush fires: 2 separate blazes burning in Simi Valley, Santa Rosa Valley

Large fires threaten Ventura County communities; 101 Freeway closed, more than 1,000 homes evacuated – Los Ang

(FOX 11/CNS) – A brush fire that broke out in Ventura County west of Chatsworth prompted mandatory evacuations on Thursday in the Los Angeles County community of Hidden Hills and residents of Calabasas and Agoura Hills were told to prepare to flee if officials give the word.

The Woolsey Fire broke out about 2:25 p.m. and by 8:30 p.m. had burned about 2,000 acres with zero percent containment. There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

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Woolsey Fire: Massive Wind-Driven Blaze Along Ventura-L.A. County Line Destroys Homes, Forces 30K People to Evacuate

The fire was burning toward Hidden Hills and because of the threat mandatory evacuations were issued north of the Ventura (101) Freeway from Valley Circle Boulevard to Lindero Canyon Road.

The Hill Fires two flanks are pushing on the one hand toward the Cal State Channel Islands campus and homes along Potrero Road and into the Broom Ranch subdivision, and on the other toward naval installations, including a communication tower for Point Mugu Naval Air Station set up on Laguna Peak.

Calabasas city officials advised residents not under mandatory evacuation orders to prepare to leave by gathering their IDs, medications, important documents, emergency supplies and a change of clothes.

KQEDs John Sepulvado and Hope McKenney shared images of the flames rising in the distance as the wind whipped smoke and dust into the air. Sepulvado has been contributing to KPCC/LAists coverage of a shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill that left 13 people dead late Thursday night.

Los Angeles county and city crews were assisting in the firefight, which was taking place as a second, larger brush fire raged further west in Ventura County in the Santa Rosa Valley/Thousand Oaks area.

As many as 500 firefighters were on scene as of 7:30 p.m., with more expected to arrive for overnight operations. They face difficult conditions, with low humidity and fierce Santa Ana winds, according to VCFD Chief Mark Lorenzen, who also spoke at the press conference.

Several Homes Burned, Thousands More Threatened as Woolsey Fire Threatens to Jump 101 Freeway

BELL CANYON (CBSLA) — A wind-driven brush fire that broke out in Ventura County, west of Chatsworth, jumped the south side of the 101 Freeway near Calabasas early Friday morning and prompted authorities to order the evacuation of 75,000 homes in L.A. and Ventura counties. It’s one of two wildfires burning in the region.

In the most 2018 moment of 2018, we cant get to the memorial for the shooting victims because a wildfire has cut off the 101 north of Thousand Oaks. We tried to take a farm road so we wouldnt get stuck. Didnt work. pic.twitter.com/SkzviVWcMg

Photos: Woolsey Fire Burns Through Oak Park in Ventura County

The Woolsey Fire was zero percent contained as of 6 a.m. Friday after scorching at least 8,000 acres. Just after 5 a.m., the blaze jumped the southside of the 101 Freeway into the Calabasas area. The California Highway Patrol shut down a four-mile stretch of the 101 Freeway from Las Virgenes Road to Kanan Road.

The Hill Fire, which ignited in Newbury Park just after 2 p.m. and quickly scorched thousands of acres, has led to the evacuations of 1,200 homes in the Camarillo Springs and Dos Vientos areas, county emergency officials said via Twitter.

CBS2 reporter Tom Wait described conditions on the ground as “apocalyptic,” as ember and ash rained down on the streets below.

Emergency officials had been prepared for the worst. Ventura County firefighters coordinated with neighboring counties and cities and the National Weather Service, prepositioning their resources, but they were still outpaced by the fire.

A large swatch of the city of Malibu was under a new mandatory evacuation Friday morning: from Liberty Canyon, west to Decker Canyon, south to the Pacific Coast Highway.

The fires also prompted the closure of the 101 Freeway in both directions, according to the California Highway Patrol. Southbound lanes were closed from SR-34 (Lewis Road) to Wendy Drive, northbound from SR-23 to Pleasant Valley Road.

Wildfires Bedevil Ventura County Even As It Recovers From A Mass Shooting

Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Scott Dettorre told CBS2 that “dozens of homes” had been damaged or destroyed, but there was no exact count.

“It’s a mandatory evacuation, what that means is, you don’t have to leave, we want you to leave, Ventura County Fire spokesman Rich Macklan told CBS2 early Friday. But people know they can’t get back in once they do leave. We want people to leave early, when firefighters ask you to, because firefighting equipment needs to come in and do their work. And if you leave early, it helps us tremendously.”

Fixed-wing aircraft were used to drop retardant nearby to protect the vehicles stuck on the road, and some motorists had to shelter in place before firefighters were able to help them evacuate, he said.

Woolsey Fire east of Simi Valley being pushed by Santa Ana winds

The Woolsey Fire broke out about 2:25 p.m. Thursday, pushed by strong Santa Ana winds which prevented fire commanders from ordering aerial assaults in the early morning hours. Finally, some flights began at 5:30 a.m. as the wind died down but within 30 minutes, the wind was picking up again as dawn neared and was expected to be strong until 10 Friday evening.

No structures have been confirmed lost, though a number of recreational vehicles and outbuildings were damaged or destroyed in Camarillo Springs and at the west end of Newbury Park, Lorenzen said.

About 1:30 a.m., all residents south of the Ventura Freeway between Westlake Boulevard on the west, Mulholland Highway to the south and Las Virgenes Road to the east were told to leave the area immediately, according to Malibu Search and Rescue. That includes areas of Westlake Village and the unincorporated community of Cornell, both in L.A. County.

The fire has been driven by 20-30 mph winds, and with gusts expected to reach up to 50 mph on ridge tops by morning, the fire has the potential to sweep all the way to the ocean, Lorenzen said.

Wind-Driven Woolsey Fire Threatens 30,000 Homes as It Marches Through Neighborhoods | NBC Southern California

About 12:30 a.m. Friday, all residents in Los Angeles and Ventura counties north of the Ventura (101) Freeway, south of Bell Canyon Road, west of Valley Circle Boulevard and east of Erbes Road, as well as north of Kanan Road, west of Lindero Canyon to Erbes Road extending north to Sunset Hills Boulevard, were told to evacuate, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. That includes areas of Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village, all in L.A. County.

No civilians have been reported injured. Cook credited their community notification technologies, including reverse 911 and VC Alert, with getting the message out and people evacuated quickly.

At about 2:30 a.m. Friday, all evacuation orders in the city of Los Angeles were changed from mandatory to voluntary, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. That affects all residents north of the Ventura 101 Freeway, south of Bell Canyon Road, west of Valley Circle Boulevard and east of the Los Angeles city limit.

The Woolsey Fire, which broke out just a short while after in the area of Rocketdyne, has burned more than 1,000 acres and prompted mandatory evacuations in the community of Bell Canyon.

L.A. County Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Trey Espy confirmed 15 to 20 homes were impacted in the area of Kellwood Ct. and Churchwood Dr. and additional homes were impacted in nearby areas. Espy said firefighters were creating “water curtains” between the homes and would remain on-scene until the threat was contained.

California State University Channel Islands issued a campus evacuation order because of poor air quality and said classes and student activities would be canceled until further notice.

Fire crews battling Hills and Woolsey Fires in Ventura County

“They will continue to save homes and do whatever they can until the work is done,” L.A. County Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Trey Espy told CBS2.

The Los Angeles Police Department was placed on a citywide tactical alert about 12:45 a.m. to ensure all resources are available to assist with any evacuation orders and road closures prompted by the Woolsey Fire, according to a department statement.

“In the most 2018 moment of 2018, we cant get to the memorial for the shooting victims because a wildfire has cut off the 101 north of Thousand Oaks,” Sepulvado tweeted.

Hwy 101 closed in Ventura County after wildfire jumps highway

“If you’re in an affected area and have been ordered to evacuate, evacuate,” the statement said.

By early Friday morning, there were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

The Hill Fire has so far burned between 5,000 and 7,000 acres, a number that was revised down from earlier estimates that put it closer to 10,000 acres.

Large Southern California Wildfire Prompts Evacuations

“It’s been a roller coaster,” one Oak Park resident told CBS2, explaining he decided to stay behind and watch over his neighbors’ homes in the area of Kellwood Ct. and Churchwood Dr. and had the utmost faith in firefighters.

“I would say we are not out of the woods when it comes to assessed evaluation and threat thats out in front of this fire,” Cook said.

“Hopefully they’re able to get it under control and save this neighborhood,” he said.

Within 12 minutes of ignition, flames had jumped the 101 Freeway at the top of the Conejo Grade near the truck scales, Lorenzen said.

“It was coming like a freight train,” he said, praising firefighters. “There’s not a lot of buffer here but these guys are just awesome.”

The fire was still active on both sides of the 101 freeway, which Cook said would likely be closed long into the night.

Firefighters cited heavy winds, kicking up to 20 to 25 mph, and difficult terrain as challenges in effectively fighting the fire.

Fire erupts in southern Calif., only miles from location of tragic Thousand Oaks shooting

Calabasas city officials advised residents not yet under mandatory evacuation orders to prepare to leave by gathering their IDs, medications, important documents, emergency supplies and a change of clothes.

Los Angeles county and city crews were assisting in the firefight, which was taking place as a second, larger brush fire raged further west in Ventura County in the Santa Rosa Valley and Thousand Oaks area.

Firefighters had their hands full, as another blaze to the north, the Hill Fire, prompted mandatory evacuations in Newbury Park and a closure of the 101 Freeway from Borchard Rd. to Pleasant Valley Rd. / Santa Rosa Rd.

Those looking for information on family or friends can call the Ventura County Joint Information Hotline at 805-465-6650.


Posted in Simi Valley