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Woolsey Fire in Ventura and LA counties now estimated at 35,000 acres

This story has been updated. For Saturday’s updates on the fire, click here.

Fire officials from Ventura and Los Angeles counties provide an update on the Woolsey and Hill fires. (Press conference scheduled to begin at approx. 4:30 p.m.)

Posted by KSBY on Friday, November 9, 2018

 

UPDATE (5:30 p.m.) – Fire officials say Southern California wildfires have burned 150 homes and that number will rise.

Authorities also announced Friday that a quarter of a million people are under evacuation orders as wind-whipped flames rage through scenic areas west of Los Angeles and burn toward the sea.

At a news conference, officials said 75 percent of the Ventura County city of Thousand Oaks has been emptied. The entire celebrity enclave of Malibu also is under evacuation orders.

Twin fires erupted Thursday and were pushed by winds of up to 60 mph through coastal foothills and canyons.

The Hill fire has burned 6,000 acres and isn’t advancing, but the Woolsey fire a few miles away doubled in size to 35,000 acres.

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby says winds are dying down but will roar back to life on Sunday.


 

UPDATE (4:40 p.m.) – California has been granted federal funds to battle devastating wildfires that have destroyed entire neighborhoods and killed at least five people.

President Trump has issued an emergency declaration providing aid to help state and local firefighters battling blazes in Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

The money will help pay for firefighting aircraft along with shelter, supplies and transportation for the tens of thousands of evacuated residents.


 

UPDATE (5 p.m.) – The Woolsey Fire, burning in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, is now estimated at 35,000 acres and growing.


 

UPDATE (3 p.m.) – Ventura County fire officials say more than 95,000 people have been evacuated as a result of the Woolsey and Hill fires.


 

UPDATE (2:19 p.m.) – People in the communities of Monte Nido and Topanga are being told to evacuate.


UPDATE (1:08 p.m.) – The entire community of Hidden Hills is being told to evacuate immediately.


 

UPDATE (1 p.m.) – The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has tweeted that Southern California’s huge wildfire has apparently destroyed the TV and movie production location known as “Western Town” at the historic Paramount Ranch.

The National Park Service says it has no details or photos but the structures that formed Old West facades are believed to have burned on Friday.

The park service says the ranch served as locations for productions ranging from 1938’s “The Adventures of Marco Polo” to TV’s “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” and the more recent shows “The Mentalist” and “Weeds.”

Western Town specifically was built for TV productions in the 1950s and was used for such westerns as “The Cisco Kid” and “Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theatre.”

The location set in the mountains west of Los Angeles dates to 1927 when Paramount Pictures leased the ranch and began making films there.

Filming continued for decades even as the ranch changed hands. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 1980 but has continued to function as a filming location.

When not in use for filming, visitors could stroll through Western Town while hiking or ride through on horseback.


 

UPDATE (11:35 a.m.) – A mandatory evacuation order for the entire city of Malibu has been reinstated as one of California’s major wildfires bears down on the enclave called home by many Hollywood stars.

A city-wide evacuation was ordered early Friday and then was scaled back.

But it has been extended again to include all of Malibu, a city of about 13,000 stretching along 21 miles of coast west of Los Angeles.

Traffic is jammed on sections of Pacific Coast Highway.

Some residents have evacuated to the parking lot of popular Zuma Beach.

The Ventura County Fire Department reports that the Woolsey Fire is now estimated at 14,000 acres.


 

UPDATE (10:10 a.m.) – Fire officials say evacuations due to a raging Southern California wildfire are expected to reach about 148,000 and structural losses are expected to be significant.

The so-called Woolsey Fire burning west of Los Angeles has surpassed 15 square miles Friday morning and is continuing to grow.

Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Dave Richardson says 45,000 people in Ventura County and 43,000 more in Los Angeles County were ordered to evacuate overnight.

Richardson estimates another 60,000 people will likely have to evacuate because the fire jumped U.S. 101 early Friday and is pushing toward the coast.

He says the fire’s pace forced firefighters to focus on life-protection rather than saving structures and he expects that yet-to-be-determined number to be significant.

Another fire to the west has burned more than 9 square miles in Ventura County but has slowed since reaching the footprint of a fire stripped away vegetation in 2013.


 

UPDATE (9:30 a.m. ) – The Woolsey Fire in Ventura and Los Angeles counties grew overnight to 10,000 acres and has forced evacuations as the fire threatens thousands of homes in the area.

Los Angeles Fire Department’s Chief Deputy David Richardson said in a press conference Friday morning that roughly about 30,000 homes are threatened because of the fire.

As of now, 45,000 residents have been evacuated due to the Woolsey Fire. Out of those evacuations, 43,000 of them were in Los Angeles County. Richardson said roughly 6,000 people could be evacuated today.

Evacuations:

  • Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Malibu, areas south of Highway 101 from Ventura County to Las Virgenes Road.
  • Mandatory evacuations at Liberty Canyon west to Decker Canyon and south of Pacific Coast Highway
  • Bell Canyon Saddlebow Road between Maverick Lane and Morgan Road
  • The entire community of Oak Park
  • Thousand Oaks T.O. Blvd north to Sunset Hills
  • West of Highway 23
  • South of Bard Lake
  • South of Highway 101

Richardson said they have gotten a permitter around the fire as it heads to the Pacific Ocean.

There is roughly 2,000 personnel on scene actively engaging in putting out the blaze.

Richardson said no injuries have been reported.


UPDATE (8:53 a.m. ) –  CHP Moorpark says Highway 101 is back open in Ventura County but remains closed in portions of Los Angeles County.


(UPDATE: 8:40 a.m.) – The city of Malibu has reduced the scope of a mandatory evacuation order for the beachside community as a wildfire approaches.

Malibu officials initially said the order issued early Friday applied to the entire city but have now defined an area that is approximately the western two-thirds of the community.

The fire erupted Thursday northwest of Los Angeles and has been swept southward toward the ocean by strong Santa Ana winds. Meteorologists predict winds to lose steam this afternoon.


(UPDATE: 7:30 a.m.) – By early Friday morning, the Woolsey Fire was sweeping into the Santa Monica Mountains. A mandatory evacuation order was issued for the entire beachside city of Malibu.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweets that the fire is headed to the ocean, punctuating the message with the declaration: “Imminent threat!” There are reportedly 75,000 homes under evacuation orders in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

All lanes of Highway 101 remained closed from Las Virgenes Canyon Road in Calabasas to Adobe Road in Agoura Hills, according to Caltrans.

The highway is closed to southbound traffic from Highway 23 in Thousand Oaks to Highway 34 in Camarillo.

Many law enforcement agencies and fire departments from across the Central Coast have been sent to Southern California to assist with the Woolsey Fire.

The Hill Fire, burning in the Santa Rosa Valley east of Camarillo west of Simi Valley near Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, has burned up to 7,000 acres.


(UPDATE: 5:30 a.m.) – The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted that the Woolsey Fire has jumped Highway 101 near Chesebro Road.

The Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire have forced evacuations in communities northwest of Los Angeles County, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The Woolsey Fire is threatening about 30,000 homes Friday morning.

Fire officials say they do not have an exact number of homes that have already been destroyed.

According to NBC Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire has burned nearly 8,000 acres and is zero percent contained.

Los Angeles County fire officials say about 75,000 homes in the two counties are under evacuation orders.


(UPDATE: 2:45 a.m.) – The Woolsey Fire expanded to 7,500 acres by early Friday morning, burning down homes and threatening more than 1,000 homes.

According to NBC Los Angeles, 15 to 20 homes have caught fire in Oak Park.

New evacuation orders have been announced for the Malibu Lake area with the concern that the fire could jump Highway 101.

For the latest evacuation orders, residents are urged to check the Ventura County’s Emergency information website.


The Woolsey fire erupted Thursday afternoon east of Chatsworth in Ventura County and grew to 4,000 acres.

NBC Los Angeles says multiple homes have burned down and evacuation orders are in place as the flames continue to grow.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for all of Oak Park, along with Bell Canyon’s Saddlebow Road between Maverick Lane and Morgan Road.

The Woolsey Fire started at around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and grew to about 750 acres within an hour and a half, according to NBC Los Angeles.

An evacuation center has been set up in Simi Valley and multiple school districts have announced school closures.

The Hill Fire burns in Newbury Park, just five miles away, also prompting evacuations and closures on Highway 101.

Related Stories: Highway 101 closed in Ventura County after wildfire jumps highway

Ashton McIntyre

Ashton McIntyre

Ashton McIntyre is the News and Content Producer for KSBY Daybreak. She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Communications and Political Science.
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