Evacuations were ordered Malibu, California, along with at least 75,000 homes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties were evacuated due to wildfires.
A mandatory evacuation is in effect for the entire area south of Highway 101 from Ventura County line to Las Virgenes-Malibu Canyon and southward to the Pacific Ocean.
The Woolsey Fire jumped Highway 101 at Liberty Canyon Road and Chesebro Road and the freeway is closed in both directions from Las Virgenes to Reyes Adobe.
The fire broke out Thursday northwest of Los Angeles and roared southward, jumping the U.S. 101 freeway early Friday and sweeping into the Santa Monica Mountains. Malibu has about 13,000 residents and lies along 21 miles of coast at the southern foot of the mountain range. The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweets that the fire is headed to the ocean, punctuating the message with the declaration: “Imminent threat!”
Fire has jumped the 101 freeway at Liberty Canyon and is well established on the south side of the freeway.Avoid 101 of commuting, large back-ups behind closure pic.twitter.com/1BbrDUPgSj
— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) November 9, 2018
“It’s a mandatory evacuation, what that means is, you don’t have to leave, we want you to leave,” Ventura County Fire spokesman Rich Macklan told The Independent on Nov. 9. “But people know they can’t get back in once they do leave. We want people to leave early, when firefighters ask you to, because firefighting equipment needs to come in and do their work.”
He added, “If you leave early, it helps us tremendously.”
Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Scott Dettorre told the station that dozens of homes have been destroyed or damaged by the fire.
“The fire has progressed down into the city of Thousand Oaks,” Dettorre told the CBS affiliate.
The Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire both broke out on the afternoon of Nov. 8. Both fires are being fueled by strong Santa Ana winds, the National Weather Service said.
“There will be a bump-up of wind speeds around dawn through noon before winds diminish slowly this afternoon,” NWS officials stated.
Northern California Threatened by Fires
More than 40,000 people were ordered to evacuate on Nov. 8 when a fire tore through Paradise, California.
The Camp Fire has destroyed businesses, homes, restaurants, supermarkets, and a retirement home, USA Today reported. California Fire Capt. Scott McLean stressed that most of the city of Paradise was “pretty much…destroyed.”
“Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation,” he also told The Associated Press. “The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.