THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Firefighters in opposite ends of California fought back fast-moving blazes on Friday as wildfires raged out of control near major cities, forced tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes and damaged hundreds of buildings.
Dozens of homes were destroyed in Thousand Oaks — the city grieving from the deadly nightclub shooting earlier this week — and the authorities ordered the evacuation of parts of Malibu, the affluent community west of Los Angeles that is home to many Hollywood celebrities, as the fire raced through the hills and canyons above the Pacific Ocean. No part of the fire was under control, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
Large fires threaten Ventura County communities; 101 Freeway closed, more than 1,000 homes evacuated – Los Ang
The fire also shut down the 101 freeway, a major transportation artery connecting Los Angeles with points north.
A separate wildfire flared early Friday in Griffith Park, near Burbank and Glendale, and not far from downtown Los Angeles.
In Northern California, firefighters in Chico lined up on the outskirts of the city on Friday morning to try to push the so-called Camp Fire away from homes and subdivisions. The fire erupted on Thursday with towering flames and thick smoke as it quickly scorched 20,000 acres and swallowed buildings in its path.
The destructive wildfire tore through Paradise, a town of about 26,000, on Thursday as it barreled toward Chico in Butte County. It forced a hospital to evacuate and expanded with such ferocity that some people in their cars jumped out to flee on foot.
A fast-moving brush fire fueled by strong, erratic winds and low humidity charred as many as 7,000 acres Thursday in the Newbury Park-Thousand Oaks area, forcing evacuations and shutting down a section of the 101 Freeway as scores of firefighters, aided by air tankers, worked to quell the flames.
In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire near Thousand Oaks had consumed 8,000 acres and destroyed at least 75 homes as of Friday morning, state fire officials said. Residents in 75,000 homes in Ventura and Los Angeles counties have been told to evacuate. The blaze began as a brush fire late Thursday and rapidly transformed into a racing inferno.
We have strong gusty winds up to 50 miles an hour, said Bonnie Bartling, a specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, a city west of Los Angeles, which has also been threatened by fire. We have extremely dry fuels and low relative humidities. Its a bad combination.
The Woolsey Fire delivered a one-two punch for Thousand Oaks, igniting just hours after a gunman opened fire inside a popular country music bar in the city on Wednesday night and killed 12 people. On Friday morning, people who had fled their homes gathered in a shelter set up at the Thousand Oaks Teen Center, which was used the day before as a meeting place for families and friends of shooting victims. Some slept on cots, while others huddled around a television to watch the latest news about the fire.
CSU Channel Islands also ordered a mandatory evacuation of the campus due to fire. All classes and activities were canceled Thursday evening, a school official said, and students who live on campus have been asked to evacuate and go home, stay with a friend or head north of the campus.
High winds and dry conditions fueled the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire through the night and presented tough conditions for the nearly 3,000 firefighters deployed to both blazes.
A two story barn is engulf in flames as firefighters battle the Santa Rosa fire that has exploded to 8,000 acres Friday morning. Approximately 75,000 homes are under evacuation orders along the Ventura-Los Angeles border. (Photo by Gene Blevins/DailyNews/Contributing Photographer)
Residents in two cities in the north, Inskip and Sterling, were told on Friday morning to evacuate. And after the Woolsey Fire jumped the freeway and quickly expanded up a hill on the other side, the authorities in Ventura County shut down a section of Highway 101, a major artery in the region. Two colleges whose campuses are near that fire, Pepperdine University in Malibu and California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, canceled classes.
Californias governor-elect, Gavin Newsom, declared a state of emergency on Thursday afternoon and asked President Trump for federal assistance for Butte County and Ventura County.
To Avoid More California Wildfires, a Utility Tries Shutting Off the PowerOct. 15, 2018ImageAdvertisement
#WoolseyFire; MANDATORY EVACUATIONS. All residents in LA County, LA City & Ventura County. North of 101 Fwy, South of Bell Canyon Rd., West of Valley Circle, East of Erbes Rd. Also North of Kanan Rd, West of Lindero Canyon to Erbes Rd extending North to Sunset Hills Bl.
Firefighters worked through the night to protect homes in the path of a fast-moving wildfire that tore through hillside brush in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, riding strong wind gusts through neighborhoods and across a major Southern California freeway.
The Woolsey fire forced evacuations in communities northwest of Los Angeles after it began Thursday afternoon amid warm, dry and windy conditions. The fire is threatening tens of thousands of homes Friday as strong winds cast embers that ignited smaller spot fires and pushed the fire across the 101 Freeway in the Agoura Hills area.
#Woolseyfire *UPDATE* Fire has entered LA County, Multiple structures have been impacted in the Oak Park area, Reyes Adobe north of T.O. Blvd. It is critical that residents pay close attention to evacuation orders. This is a very dangerous wind driven fire.
Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Friday due to the destructive Woolsey Fire and nearby Hill Fire. A state of emergency was declared Thursday for the monster Camp Fire in Northern California.
Firefighting helicopter crews battle wind and flames in Calabasas. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for NBC4 on Friday Nov. 9, 2018.
“The wind-whipped conditions … this is ripe conditions for explosive fire behavior,” said LAFD Capt. Erik Scott. “This is the new normal. When we have conditions like this, when its such incredible wind, that brings us in to a different caliber, so its become a much more challenging condition.”
A CHP officer checks on residents in Camarillo Springs as wind-driven flames from the Hill fire move closer. The fire department reported the fire has already burned more than 10,000 acres. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Late Friday morning, the Woolsey fire burned 10,000 acres, was zero percent contained and damaged multiple structures. Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Dave Richardson said 45,000 people in Ventura County and 43,000 more in Los Angeles County were ordered to evacuate overnight.
Many homes have been destroyed, but firefighters did not have a firm number Friday morning as wind continued to push flames toward the south.
“The winds havent died down, and thats unfortunate,” said NBC4 forecaster Shanna Mendiola. “Winds are gusting anywhere between 40 to 50 mph, strong enough to carry theses embers. We do expect these winds to die down, but not completely go away.”
The fires burned in a community that was already reeling from a mass shooting that left 12 victims dead Wednesday night at a Thousand Oaks bar. The Thousand Oaks Teen Center was a family unification center Thursday, a place where families anxiously waited for updates on loved ones who were at the Borderline Bar. On Friday, the center was an evacuation center for people fleeing the fire.
Wind driving 10,000-acre brush fire toward ocean
“I think a lot of people should realize this is what your valuable life leads to,” said a man from Ventura County as he pointed at his truck. “Plastic bags on the back of your pick-up truck.”
Santa Ana winds fuel Hill, Woolsey fires in Southern California as evacuations expand
Along with assisting the growth of the fire, the high winds also deterred air support in battling the flames.
A water dropping helicopter heads to fill up as the sun sets during the Hill Fire in Thousand Oaks, CA, on Thursday, Nov 8, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)
75K Homes Ordered To Evacuate As Woolsey Fire Rages In Ventura, LA Counties
The Woolsey Fire was first reported around 3:30 p.m. and by 4:45 p.m. It started east of Chatsworth near a former Rocketdyne facility.
Fall is historically one of the most dangerous times of the year for wildfires in California. Seven of the states 10-most destructive wildfires occurred in October — many fueled by monster winds, including Santa Ana gusts.
Through Nov. 4, Cal Fire has reported about 5,600 fires that burned more than 621,700 acres. During that same period last year, the agency reported 5,800 fire that burned 316,600 acres. Over the last five years, California has averaged 5,293 fires that burned 231,400 acres during that interval.
The fast-moving Woolsey fire grew overnight as it spread from the Simi Valley area into Agoura Hills, jumping Highway 101. Meghan Reyes reported for Today in LA on Friday Nov. 9, 2018.