Firefighters are struggling to contain the blaze in Ventura, which destroyed 150 structures and left 260,000 people without power.

Article credited to Fox News:


Wildfire Near L.A. Forces 27,000 to Flee

Firefighters are struggling to contain the blaze in Ventura, which destroyed 150 structures and left 260,000 people without power.

By Alexa Lardieri, Staff Writer |Dec. 5, 2017, at 10:43 a.m.

Wildfire Near L.A. Forces 27,000 to Flee

Wildfires in Northern California’s wine country in October destroyed more than 10,000 structures. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

A fast-moving, wind-blown wildfire swept through more than 30,000 acres in Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles, Tuesday, forcing 27,000 people to evacuate during the early morning hours.

The fire also consumed at least 150 structures — including a large apartment building, which collapsed around 4 a.m., the Los Angeles Times reported.

The wildfire made its way about a quarter-mile from Ventura City Hall and is advancing toward Ojai Valley. Officials predict it will burn at least 50,000 acres in the mountains between Santa Paula and Ventura.

[READ: Guarding Against the Dangers of Wildfire Smoke]

Wind gusts of up to 50 mph made it difficult for the hundreds of firefighters who worked through the night to keep the fast-moving flames from spreading. Fire officials said the strong winds paired with the intensity of the fire made it virtually unstoppable, according to the Times.

The Ventura city and county officials and authorities in Santa Paula have all declared a local emergency. There are 500 firefighters on scene with reinforcements on the way, along with scores of officers from local police departments and the California Highway Patrol coordinating evacuations and road closures, Ventura County reported. Water-dropping helicopters and aircraft are also being utilized.



Chief Lorenzen and Sheriff Dean updating the Media on the most up-to-date information on the #ThomasFire moving into the Ventura area.

3:11 AM – Dec 5, 2017 · Oxnard, CA


“The prospects of containment are not good. Really, Mother Nature is going to decide if we have the ability to put it out,” said Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen.

One person was killed in a traffic incident on a road closed due to the fire Monday night, Ventura County officials said. However, as of Tuesday morning, no other deaths had been reported.

More than 260,000 customers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties were without power, according to the Times.

The Thomas Fire, as it’s called, comes after what was already the worst year in California‘s history for wildfires. In October, more than 40 people died and more than 10,000 structures were destroyed when fires burned through Northern California’s wine country.