Two fast-moving wildfires that are exploding in the hills of Southern California have forced thousands of evacuations, including a sprawling naval base, as extremely critical fire conditions resumed Sunday. Acting Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in response to the Oak Park fire and the Malibu fire in Los Angeles County. As governor-elect, Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fires that have destroyed property and land and forced the evacuation of Malimi and Griffith Park.
The county is also facing a second fire, the Hill Fire, which was ignited after a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks that killed 12 people. Ventura County Fire Department ordered the evacuation of more than 1,000 homes and businesses near the fire that broke out Saturday night in Oak Park, a small town of about 2,500 near Santa Barbara.
The Hill Fire started at 2 p.m. on Thursday and has burned about 6,000 acres and is now moving in the footsteps of the 2013 Spring Fire, Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Fassbender said. It is currently burning in the same area as the Bobcat fire burning north of it, where there has been no fire in the last 80 years. The Hill fire is still burning, causing the fire to slow down, but it remains a dangerous blaze that has destroyed more than 1,500 homes and businesses in Oak Park and other parts of Santa Barbara County. A combination of strong winds, dry conditions and heavy rain helped slow the Hillfire, but it is slowing down and it is currently being reported as contained, the county's fire department said.
Before the Woolsey fire, the largest park fire was the 2013 Oak Park Spring Fire, which burned more than 6,000 acres in the same area.
Oak Park was badly hit in 2018 after the Woolsey fire, the largest wildfire in Southern California history. The Paramount Ranch was one of many recreational areas destroyed by the two wildfires that raged in Southern California in November 2018. The Woolley fire has also hit Paramount Ranch, a popular recreation center in Santa Barbara County, California.
Most of the fire damage is in Oak Park, Calif., a small town in Santa Barbara County, California. The destruction was widespread, especially in Westlake Village, where condominiums and homes were set ablaze as the fires raged through canyons and hillsides. If you take a trip to Paramount Ranch and other Southern California wildfires, you'll notice how random the damage is.
KCBS-TV reports that several homes in Malibu are on fire and several homes in Santa Barbara County and Los Angeles County have burned. In Southern California, Santa Ana winds are fueling a series of fires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, including the Santa Monica Mountains, San Fernando Valley and Ventura County Mountains. By Friday afternoon, one of the fires had destroyed more than 1,000 homes, several hundred buildings and a number of businesses and was out of control. It has devastated communities in Ventura County, with several fires in and around the city of Ventura. Flames are blazing near Conejo Valley Church of Christ, where several buildings were burned, according to a news release.
Fire officials said other fires in Ventura County, called the Woolsey Fire, were ignited in Woolley Canyon and were moving toward Oak Park. Only the slope down to the west serves as a fire break, from which Cal Fire cuts fire breaks, directs burns and lays fire retardants to prevent the fire from spreading east of San Jose.
The Oak Park community is now occupied and signs are everywhere thanking firefighters for their efforts, Ross said. Much of the fire burned through the oaks and pines that grow there, he wrote in a preliminary assessment of natural resources published by the Pine Ridge Association. The bark of the redwood is hard to fire-proof, but in violent firestorms the trees can be damaged. Large trees near the park's headquarters have fallen, while others are still worn out and burned by the flames.
Exactly what sparked the Woolsey fire is still unknown, but it began in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles. If you have seen fire damage, please call the Oak Park Fire Department at (888) 662-4357 or the Orange County Sheriff's Department Fire Department today.
P-64 was in Simi Hills, north of Oak Park, when the fire broke out about 4: 30 p.m., the Orange County Sheriff's Department said. The Woolsey fire reached the town of Agoura Hills overnight and has since spread into the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles.
Evacuation measures are likely to be even higher on Sunday as hundreds of firefighters battle the flames again, he said. As night fell, the fire was still not contained, but the Hill Fire was contained to about 6,000 acres and left only minor structural damage compared to the Woolsey Fire, Orange County Fire Department spokesman Capt. At a news conference, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Col. Dan Pfeiffer said, "The Hill fire is still burning and is continuing in the Santa Monica Mountains, about 40 miles east of LA.