2 large fires rapidly whip through Southern California


Two large, fast-moving fires spread through Southern California on Thursday, and officials ordered evacuations in several areas as high winds threatened to push the blaze to the Pacific Ocean, KTLA reported.

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Portions of Ventura County were threatened by the fire, as authorities attempted to control the blaze 24 hours after a mass shooting at a nearby Thousand Oaks country music bar.

The fire broke out in the Hill Canyon area and jumped the 101 Freeway in 12 minutes due to winds gusting between 35 mph and 40 mph, the Los Angeles Times reported. It burned more than 7,000 acres and forced the evacuation of residents in more than 1,200 homes, the newspaper reported.

"Santa Ana winds outpaced our firefighting resources," Ventura County Fire Department Assistant Chief Chad Cook told KTLA.

“We’re doing our best to attack this fire from the air, but extreme winds prohibits our ability,” Fire Capt. Stan Ziegler told the Times.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service issued a red flag fire warning and predicted winds could gust between 40 mph and 50 mph in valleys and coastal areas, and between 60 mph and 70 mph in the mountains, the newspaper reported.

The second fire was burning near Woolsey Canyon Road, KNBC reported. It crossed over the ridgeline that separates Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, the Times reported.

“We think there’s potential, if the wind picks up, for it to move down the hill toward Oak Park, Calabasas, Agoura, Westlake Village,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen told the newspaper. “That’s not an immediate threat.”


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