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09 Nov 2018 | 11:26 AM UTC

US: Southern California wildfires spread forcing evacuations Nov. 9

Twin fires in Ventura County (California) spread rapidly, forcing thousands to evacuate; US-101 highway closed



Two fires in southern California's Ventura county are spreading quickly, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes as of 08:00 (local time) on Friday, November 9. The brush fires were fanned by strong winds and low humidity and both jumped across US Highway 101, prompting severe disruptions and closures. Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for 75,000 homes in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, including for the communities of Malibu Lakes, Westlake Village, Cornell, Calabasas, and Agoura Hills. Additionally, all areas south of US-101, from Malibu Canyon Road to the Ventura-Los Angeles county line, are under an evacuation notice.

As of 02:00 on Friday, the so-called Woolsey fire burning near Calabasas, east of Thousand Oaks, was approximately 3240 hectares (8000 acres). Around 07:00, the fire jumped US-101 near Liberty Canyon Road, forcing the highway to close in both directions. To the west, the so-called Hill fire broke out around 14:00 on Thursday, November 8, and quickly spread across US-101 near the town of Camarillo. Southbound lanes in that area remain closed as of 08:30. As of 08:00, it is burning around 4046 hectares (10,000 acres). Both fires are currently uncontained and spreading south toward the Pacific Ocean. Further evacuations and road closures are possible in the coming days as firefighters work to contain the fire.


Wildfires and brush fires are common in California from May through November.


Individuals in the affected areas are advised to exercise caution when traveling in areas near the wildfire, adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. road closures, evacuation notices), and closely monitor the situation. Children and those with respiratory illnesses are advised to limit outdoor activity.

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