Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as two fast burning wildfires makes their way through Southern California. The Thomas Fire in Ventura County and the Creek Fire in Los Angeles County have scorched thousands of acres and continue to burn as hundreds of firefighters battle the blazes fueled by dry brush and Santa Ana winds.
The Thomas Fire has burned at least 45,000 acres, destroyed 150 structures and officials have called for the mandatory evacuation of more than 27,000 residents. Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in Ventura County on Tuesday as approximately 125 firefighters, 15 engines and two bulldozers from numerous departments throughout San Luis Obispo County assist Ventura County firefighters in battling the blaze.
“We urge you, you must abide by these evacuation notices,” Ventura County Sheriff Jeff Dean said at a press conference. “We saw the disasters and the losses that happened up north in Sonoma, and this is a fast, very dangerous moving fire.”
According to officials, the Thomas Fire began around 6:30 p,m. on Monday as a 50-acre brushfire in the foothills just east of Santa Paula and grew to 10,000 acres in four hours. Evacuation shelters have been set up at Nordhoff High School located at 1401 Maricopa Highway in Ojai as well as the Ventura County Fairgrounds at Miners Building located at 10 W Harbor Boulevard in Ventura, the latter of which includes a shelter for evacuated pets and all types of animals.
For continued updates on the Thomas Fire, follow CALFireSLO on Twitter.
The Creek Fire in Los Angeles County has burned approximately 4,000 acres in the hills above Sylmar and Lake View Terrace and has destroyed an unknown number of homes. The California Highway Patrol has shut down the 210 freeway in both directions as more than 400 firefighters and at least 50 fire engines battle the blaze within these neighborhoods.
Approximately 2,500 homes have been evacuated due to the Creek Fire that began around 4 a.m. in the Angeles National Forest near Gold Creek Road and Little Tujunga Canyon Road. Evacuation centers have been set up at the Sylmar Recreation Center, 13109 Borden Avenue and the Sunland Senior Center located at 8640 Fenwick Street in Sunland.
For continued updates on the Creek Fire, follow LACounty Fire PIO on Twitter.
The cause of the Thomas Fire and the Creek Fire remain unknown at this time.