Tags: wildfire | ventura | california | evacuations

Wildfire Sweeps Into Ventura California

By    |   Tuesday, 05 December 2017 08:33 AM

A wildfire swept into Ventura, California, early Tuesday, destroying more than 31,000 acres, damaging houses and chasing 27,000 people from their homes, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Firefighters battled the blaze throughout the night as it consumed about 150 structures, including a large apartment complex, the newspaper said. Crews struggled to contain the blaze because of its intensity and winds.

"The prospects for containment are not good," Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen told reporters at a news conference, according to the Times. "Really mother nature is going to decide."

A Southern California Edison spokeswoman told the newspaper that more than 260,000 customers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties had lost power as of 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

According to the Ventura County Star, the wildfire spread from the hillsides above Santa Paula, down toward the city and west to Ventura. Thousands were forced to flee their homes, multiple structures were destroyed and reports continued to come in about others on fire.

"The fire spread quickly, pushed by heavy east winds toward the west," Lorenzen told the Star. "We're basically leapfrogging our engines doing structure defense as the fire proceeds."

Ventura issued mandatory evacuations as the fire spread into its Ondolundo and Clearpoint communities and other areas, the Star reported. Fire officials continued to add neighborhoods to the list as the night went on.

"The fire has spread incredibly fast. This is a very bad scenario," Ventura Fire Marshal Joe Morelli, told the Star at its emergency operations center. "The winds are still picking up."

Ventura and Santa Paula school districts closed their campuses on Tuesday while the Humane Society of Ventura counties started accepting large and small animals, the Star wrote. Some people took horses to the livestock area at the fairgrounds trying to escape the smoke and fire in Santa Paula.

Nearby Thomas Aquinas College issued a fire alert on Twitter, stating that the wildfire had reached its campus.

The National Weather Service in Los Angeles had posted over the weekend that strong winds would last in the area through Thursday.

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A wildfire swept into Ventura, California, early Tuesday, destroying more than 31,000 acres, damaging houses and chasing 27,000 people from their homes.
wildfire, ventura, california, evacuations
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2017-33-05
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 08:33 AM
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