Several fires in Southern California continue to threaten residents and motorists
December 8, 2017
The fire situation in Southern California has not improved. In fact, it is getting worse. The Thomas Fire has expanded to 132,000 acres, up from 45,000 acres on Tuesday morning. Several other fires have developed and spread in the region, putting motorists and residents in the immediate area in danger.
Strong Santa Ana winds continue to fuel the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, which began near state Route 150 and state Route 126 at around 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4. According to CalFire, the fire is at 10 percent containment.
The National Fire Coordination Group is reporting 439 structures have been destroyed, with another 85 damaged. Approximately 15,000 structures are under threat. About 3,500 fire personnel are working on containment.
The Ventura Police Department has declared a curfew starting at 10 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m.
CalTrans is reporting the following closures:
- State Route 150 from Santa Ana Road in Ventura to Casitas Pass Road (state Route 192) near Carpinteria;
- State Route 150 from Reeves Road in Ojai to Stonegate Road in Santa Paula; and
- State Route 33 closed about 3 miles north of Ojai at Fairview Road to Lockwood Road in Los Padres National Forest.
Mandatory evacuation orders have been extended. For an evacuation map, including the fire perimeter, click here. The fire is approaching the Santa Barbara County line and Lake Casitas.
NWCG is estimating that full containment may be reached on Dec. 24.
Creek Fire, Skirball Fire and Rye Fire
Further south in the Los Angeles area, the Creek, Skirball and Rye Fires are threatening the most densely populated metropolitan area in the nation.
The Creek Fire in Los Angeles County on Friday, Dec. 8, has grown to more than 15,000 acres from 11,000 acres on Dec. 6. At 40 percent containment at press time, the fire has destroyed approximately 60 structures, damaged nearly 50 more and is threatening 2,500. Two people have been injured.
The Skirball Fire began in the early morning of Wednesday, Dec. 6, near Interstate 405 and Mulholland Drive. On Friday morning, it was burning nearly 500 acres and at 30 percent containment.
Approximately six structures have been destroyed as of press time, with 12 other structures damaged. One firefighter has suffered a minor burn injury.
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Just west of Valencia, the Rye Fire has burned more than 6,000 acres and as at 35 percent containment Friday morning. Only one structure has been destroyed, but more than 5,000 continue to be threatened. No road closures are being reported as a result of the Rye Fire.
CalTrans is reporting that both eastbound and westbound Interstate 210 Osborne Street off-ramps remain closed for the protection and safety of emergency responders.
Further toward the Southern border, the Lilac Fire popped up on Thursday morning in San Diego County. As of Friday morning, the fire had burned more than 4,000 acres. Containment was not known as of 10:15 a.m. local time on Friday.
CalFire is reporting 65 structures have been destroyed. Six people have been injured, two firefighters and four civilians.
Old Highway 395 is closed between West Lilac Road and Highway 76 in both directions.