Southern California Fire Kills 1 and Evacuates Hundreds
The Southern California fire, pushed by strong Santa Ana winds, spread to 10,000 acres on Monday night, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate in the dark
Unfortunately, one person died in a car crash while trying to evacuate from the fire, said Ventura County Fire chief, Mark Lorenzen.
Fire officials warned that the powerful flames may turn toward the city of Santa Paula and Ventura, forcing 1,000 homes to be under immediate evacuation.
Lorenzen added that at least two structures have been lost in the fire.
Ventura County Sheriff deputies have been knocking on doors, letting people know that they needed to evacuate.
Sadly, the fire also brought another side effect: it burned down power lines, leading to widespread outages in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties; more than 260,000 were left without power.
Officials had previously warned of extreme fire danger in the area due to the Santa Ana winds, which are blowing as fast as 40 to 60 mph.
Within just a few hours, the fire extended and climbed through steep terrain. The fire glowed orange on hills, letting residents in Santa Paula know that it was time for them to put their belongings into their cars and prepare to evacuate.
Because of the fires, officials were forced to shut Route 150, between Ojai and Santa Paula. Even more, all students at the Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula were evacuated on Monday night, the school tweeted.
Fortunately, two evacuation centers were opened for those who had to leave their homes.