Red Flag Warning: Santa Ana Winds Push Flames of Hill and Woolsey Fires in Ventura County

Red Flag Warning: Santa Ana Winds Push Flames of Hill and Woolsey Fires in Ventura County
Woolsey Fire burns homes as it exceeds 14000 acres, continues to grow at Los Angeles-Ventura County border
SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) — A fast-spreading brush fire that broke out near Simi Valley Thursday afternoon has jumped to the south side of the 101 Freeway and was threatening Malibu early Friday morning as it tore through Thousand Oaks, prompting authorities to order the evacuation of at least 75,000 homes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

It’s one of two wildfires burning in the region, the other being the 6,000-acre Hill Fire burning in Newbury Park. No injuries have been reported in either fire.

The Woolsey Fire was zero percent contained as of late Friday morning and had scorched at least 14,000 acres just before noon. Just after 5 a.m., the blaze jumped the southside of the 101 Freeway at Chesebro Road near Calabasas. In response, California Highway Patrol shut down a four-mile stretch of the 101 Freeway from Las Virgenes Road to Kanan Road.

On Friday, the Los Angeles County Fire public information officer tweeted saying the "Fire has jumped the 101 fwy near Chesebro and is headed to Ocean."

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

“Early this morning, as the fire transitioned through Agoura Hills, the fire jumped the 101 Freeway right around Liberty Canyon, mid-slope, caught wind, and became quickly established at where we were at today,” L.A. County Deputy Fire Chief David Richardson told reporters at a morning news conference.

A SafeFurr Place Animal Rescue and Bakersfield Boxers & Bullies Rescue are hosting a free vacinne event for dogs this weekend.

California wildfires: Five dead and more than 150,000 evacuated

The fire was burning south of Mulholland Highway. A large swatch of the city of Malibu was under an unprecedented mandatory evacuation order Friday morning. That applied to residents south of the 101 Freeway from the Ventura County line, east to Las Virgenes Road and then south all the way to the Pacific Coast Highway. The area east of Malibu Canyon was under a voluntary evacuation order.

This picture, tweeted by the Los Angeles County publc information officer, shows the Woolsey Fire in Ventura County. 

“These winds due have the potential to push this fire all the way to Malibu… If you live in Malibu, I would get out,” CBS2 Meteorologist Danielle Gersh said.

Residents were advised to use Pacific Coast Highway to evacuate, and to avoid using canyon roads. However, the northbound PCH was shut down at Topanga Canyon Boulevard as of 11:30 a.m., and there was a 20-mile backup for southbound drivers. Complicating matters were the traffic signals that were knocked out of service. Drivers were being advised to use the 405 Freeway up to the 118 Freeway in order to get around the backup.

A wildfire comes down from a hilltop Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, near Newbury Park, Calif. The Ventura County Fire Department has ordered evacuation of some communities in the path of the fire, which erupted a few miles from the site of Wednesday nights deadly mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Evacuations were also issued north of the 101 Freeway from Valley Vista to Reyes Adobe in the areas of Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted that the fire raging through the Santa Monica Mountains was headed to the ocean. Malibu has about 13,000 residents and lies along 21 miles (34 kilometers) of coast at the southern foot of the mountain range.

“We have over 300 Los Angeles County firefighters here, and as mentioned collectively, that’s going to grow, as we continue to battle this fire, as it is headed to the Pacific Ocean,” Richardson said.

The erupted Thursday near the northwest corner of the city of Los Angeles as the regions notorious Santa Ana winds gusted, triggering overnight evacuations of an estimated 75,000 homes in western Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County.

There are hundreds of firefighters battling the blaze, with hundreds more headed in to help, Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen told reporters Friday.

“We know we have a number of structures that were lost during the firefight overnight,” Lorenzen said.

The fire then pushed southward, jumped the wide U.S. 101 freeway before dawn Friday and pushed into the Santa Monica range.

Malibu residents ordered out as California wildfire nears

Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Scott Dettorre earlier 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.”

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

Woolsey Fire in Ventura and Los Angeles counties grows to 14000 acres

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.

Evacuations ordered for the entire community of Malibu, California as wildfire roars toward the coast

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom issued an emergency proclamation Friday for L.A. and Ventura counties due to both the .

About 2:30 a.m., mandatory evacuation orders that had been issued in the city of Los Angeles near West Hills and Hidden Hills were changed from mandatory to voluntary, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The orders affected residents north of the 101 Freeway, south of Bell Canyon Road, west of Valley Circle Boulevard and east of the Los Angeles city limit. Evacuation orders in the Hidden Hills area of Los Angeles County were also downgraded to voluntary.

About 12:30 a.m., 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.

Meanwhile, L.A. County Fire Battalion Chief Trey Espy confirmed 15 to 20 homes were impacted in the area of Kellwood Court and Churchwood Drive in Oak Park, 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.

Woolsey Fire burns 8,000 acres; 75K homes under evacuation orders

“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.

“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.

“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.

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

Thousand Oaks was also the scene of a mass shooting late Wednesday at a nightclub where 11 civilians and a sheriff’s sergeant were killed. The suspected gunman, a Marine Corps veteran, killed himself.

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

What started the Woolsey & Hill fires? No news report is giving any explanation of how these tragic fires began. Tons of news reporting on ‘the wind’, low humidity and shortage of man power to fight so many areas of fire. Please, someone report what on earth started it. Was a lightening storm involved? Was it a careless person? A camp fire? Blame doesn’t remedy the current conditions, but public information should include the reason for this horrible event. People are losing their homes and I am certain they want to know WHY.

California has legalized the spread of HIV..they are paying the price of being evil. I do pray that the God fearing people are not harmed. those who support the spreading of diseases have cast their destiny.


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