UPDATED 6:35 AM PT — Fri. Nov. 9, 2019
Fire crews are calling for more evacuations as several wildfires rage throughout Northern and Southern California.
The “Hill Fire” was sparked Thursday in the Newbury Park Area, which is roughly one mile away from Wednesday’s deadly mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. So far, it has burned about 10,000 acres, destroyed multiple structures, and forced the closure of a major highway.
A separate blaze north of Thousand Oaks has burned about 750 acres in Simi Valley.
Firefighters are also working to contain a northern California fire — dubbed the ‘Camp Fire’ — as it threatens thousands of homes and forced an emergency declaration to be placed in the city of Paradise. The blaze is located just 87 miles northeast of Sacramento.
Cal Fire Captain — John Gaddie — said the town of just 27,000 was “destroyed” by the flames. Gaddie explained how his team was able to evacuate Paradise city residents in a short amount of time.
“I know there was a plan put in place. They used the Walgreens up in Paradise as a temporary refuge area and why we do that is to get civilians or people that are out in the elements, meaning the fire and the smoke, we try to get them into an area that is safe and away from the fire and smoke until that fire front pushes through — we did have fire personnel with them, so once they deem it safe we were able get them out of there, ” he explained.
The brush fire was first reported around 6:30 AM Thursday morning and burned roughly 18,000 acres by midday Thursday.
The California Highway Patrol reversed traffic lanes along Interstates 99 and 149 throughout the day to allow evacuees to flee the ‘Camp Fire.’
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said all available officers in the area are mobilizing to conduct home-checks.
“Cal-Fire is working very hard to protect structures, my deputies and law enforcement officers have come in with to assist us with mutual aid the California Highway Patrol, law enforcement from all over NorCal are working to not only make sure the areas that are evacuated that we’re getting people out, we’ve got around 400 requests to go out and check on people or attempt to contact people who haven’t been able to check-in with their loved ones, so we’re in the process of doing that,” explained the sheriff.
No fatalities have been reported as of Thursday evening and 15,000 homes remain under threat.
The National Weather Service now predicts heavy winds throughout Friday morning could potentially help spread the blaze.