Woolsey Fire chars homes is it continues to grow at Los Angeles-Ventura County border

One of two wind-driven brush fires that erupted in Ventura County Thursday exploded to 8,000 acres amid even stronger winds early Friday. Approximately 75,000 homes are under evacuation orders along the Ventura-Los Angeles County border.


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Flames take over hillsides near homes along Mullholland Highway in Malibu Creek State Park.


The fast-moving fire jumped the 101 Freeway at Chesebro Road at about 5:15 a.m. and is established on the south side of freeway, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. The jump forced the freeway to close again in both directions at Liberty Canyon Road as approximately 3 acres is burning and moving uphill, according to the California Highway Patrol.



The blaze, dubbed the Woolsey Fire, started in Simi Valley near the Rocketdyne facility in the Santa Susana Pass.

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Eyewitness footage from the 101 Freeway shows a brush fire surrounding motorists on the roadway as smoke billows overhead.


By early Friday morning, the fire had grown to 8,000 acres with 0 percent containment. Multiple structures are damaged and destroyed, according to Los Angeles Fire Department Public Information Officer Erik Scott.

Among the homes ruined in the blaze, several were in the Oak Park area.

About 75,000 homes were forced to evacuate just for the Woolsey Fire, Scott said. No injuries have been reported.



Ventura County fire officials issued mandatory evacuation orders for several areas. Some of those areas include Saddlebow between Maverick Lane and Morgan Road in Bell Canyon, north of the 101 Freeway, south of Bell Canyon Road, west of Valley Circle, east of the 23 Freeway, north of Kanan Road and west of Lindero Canyon to the 23 Freeway, extending north of Sunset Hills Boulevard and along Erbes Road to Olson Road. The evacuations also include north of Sunset Hills Boulevard, south of Olson Road and west of the 23 Freeway. South of 101 Freeway and north of Mulholland Highway are also included in the evacuation orders, as well as west of Las Virgenes Road and east of Westlake Boulevard. Mandatory evacuations are also in effect in the Malibu Canyon area, Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village.



Detailed fire and shelter information can be found at www.vcemergency.com.

The destructive flames are tearing through neighborhoods as wind gusts reach upwards of 30 and 40 mph. Strong winds are expected to diminish between 10 a.m. and noon.

A second fire burning in the Santa Rosa Valley east of Camarillo, west of Simi Valley near Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, was mere miles from the scene of a deadly mass shooting that claimed 12 lives Wednesday night.



Dubbed the Hill Fire, Ventura County fire officials said the blaze is 6,000 acres with 0 percent containment as of Friday morning.

Authorities originally estimated the size of the blaze at upwards of 15,000 acres, but then officials downgraded the size.

Structures could be seen burning from the air as a line of flames closed in on a large residential area near Old Conejo Road.

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Residents rushed out of their homes as flames from the Woolsey Fire lapped at the back of their homes during a windy Thursday night in Oak Park.


Mandatory evacuations were issued for Cal State Channel Islands, Vallecito Mobile Home Park and the Camarillo Springs and Dos Vientos areas, authorities said. Point Magu Naval Base was under voluntary evacuation orders.

Fire officials estimated that 1,200 homes were evacuated in the Camarillo Springs and Dos Vientos areas.


Hundreds of Ventura County firefighters and eight air tankers were battling the flames on the ground and from above.

Plumes of thick, white smoke could be seen rising above the burn site as strong Santa Ana winds drove the flames amid red flag conditions.

The cause of the fires remain under investigation.