California wildfire: Thousands evacuated in Ventura County

06 December, 2017, 01:12 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • With gusts of wind of up to 70mph the fire spread rapidly leading to the evacuation of at least 1,000 homes

A brush fire roared into Southern California Monday evening, spreading overnight to 31,000 acres, destroying at least 150 structures, many of them homes, and forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate, the authorities said.

"Due to the intensity of the fire, crews are having trouble making access and there are multiple reports of structures on fire".

Firefighters battle the fire as it burns near homes in Santa Paula on December 5.

Fire officials say the fire broke out Monday east of Santa Paula, which is about 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. More than 27,000 people were evacuated and one firefighter suffered bumps and bruises in a vehicle accident in Ventura County. By midnight, the fire was estimated to have reached 10,000 acres.

The blaze was being driven by what the National Weather Service called "potentially the strongest and longest duration" Santa Ana wind event of the current season. More than 800 homes were evacuated there.




"The fire growth is just absolutely exponential", Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen was quoted by ABC News as saying. "Really mother nature is going to decide when we have the ability to put it out because it is pushing hard".

High winds continued to fuel the Thomas Wildfire in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, on Tuesday.

"We've been here nearly 30 years we've gone through floods, gone through fires, it's just the wind, you don't know where it's going to go", added Chula Casas.

The dry air and hurricane-force winds were expected to create "critical fire conditions" in the area starting tonight, and the forecasts indicated the region could see Red Flag Warnings up through the next four nights and days.

Shelters have been set up a local school and county fairgrounds for evacuees.

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