Woolsey Fire jumps Hwy 101; highway remains closed

Woolsey Fire jumps Hwy 101; highway remains closed
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – A second fire is burning in Ventura County.  The Woolsey Fire has burned 2,000 acres and continues to be pushed by strong Santa Ana winds, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

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.

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