Woolsey Fire Burns 85,500 Acres, Fifteen Percent Contained

Firefighters are bracing for their fourth day of taking on the devastating Woolsey Fire that has charred nearly 85,500 acres since breaking out Thursday afternoon. Crews are bracing for a tough day as another Santa Ana wind event is forecast to bring gusts of up to 40 mph through Tuesday. 

Evacuations orders for much of the area have remained in place since they were first issued with more than 175,000 residents and 57,000 structures threatened. The Woolsey Fire is fifteen percent contained, according to fire officials. Firefighters worked through the night to get ahead of hot spots and establish containment lines ahead of Sunday's wind event. More than 3,200 fire personnel are working the scene, with 418 fire engines. 

"The winds have returned. This is a wind-driven event,'' Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Chief John Benedict said Sunday.

The fire continues to be a threat to thousands of homes, authorities said in a press conference Sunday night. Nearly 200 structures have been destroyed. Officials say there has been significant structure loss and they expect that number to increase. 

Speaking Sunday night, Gov. Jerry Brown said he had requested federal funding to help agencies across the state fight the immense wildfires in both Northern California (Camp Fire) and Southern California (Woolsey Fire). 

"This is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal," Brown warned. "And unfortunately, science tells us this will be the normal for the next ten to fifteen years.

"Managing all the forests in everywhere we can does not stop climate change," Brown said. "And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we're now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years."

A Red Flag Warning remained in effect for Los Angeles and Ventura counties through Tuesday. A High Wind Warning is in effect through Tuesday night.

Two fatalities were also discovered in the fire zone Saturday, with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department saying two burned bodies were discovered inside a parked car on a long residential driveway. Officials have not elaborate further, citing the active investigation. 

Officials say that when roads have been cleared and deemed safe for residents, they would begin a re-population plan to allow individuals to begin returning home to survey damage. Residents who have been evacuated are being urged to have their identification on hand and ready to show officials in order to prove they live in the area. 

At least seven to ten homes have been red-tagged in the Agoura Hills area where mandatory evacuations remain in place. Officials are not yet able to give a full damage assessment of structures lost, but say at least 

The nearby Hill Fire charred more than 4,500 acres and is 70 percent contained, officials said. The following areas in Ventura County are no longer under a mandatory evacuation order: Camillo Springs, California State University Channel Islands, Dos Vientos, Valle City Trailer Park. 

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Chief John Benedict emphasized at a press conference Saturday that looting would not be tolerated. Deputies on duty are watching for looters while doing property evaluations in Westlake Village, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills Calabasas and Malibu. 

Officials say the Los Angeles Sheriff's department has switched to 12-hour shifts, which will allow up to 500 deputy sheriffs to be deployed to the fire area to help monitor the fire area. 

"If you come into these affected areas to try and take advantage of  the destruction and the suffering of these residents, you will be arrested,  charged and we will take you to jail,'' Benedict said.

Police said that Sunday passed with no reported incidents of looting in the fire areas in Ventura or Los Angeles counties. 

Three firefighters have been injured while battling the Woolsey Fire, Cal Fire confirmed, but no specifics on their injuries were released. 

Firefighters say a town hall will be held at 5 p.m. at Taft high school for community members who want to ask questions and get information about the Woolsey and Hill fires. State Senator Henry Stern, who represents some of the communities affected by the incident, will help moderate the session. 

Taft High School is located at 5461 Winnetka Ave. 

Pepperdine University announced Sunday afternoon that they were canceling classes through Nov. 26 due to the Woolsey Fire, according to a robocall sent to students. 

Los Animal County Services have put out an emergency call for people to come help clear the shelters so they will have room for incoming animals. Animals have been arriving at the shelter due to the multiple fires burning around the region. 

"If you can adopt or foster, please go to the closest LA City Animal Service Center to help create life-saving space during the high winds and fire," reads the message. "We are taking taking in evacuated LA county animals at our East Valley, West Valley, and West Los Angeles shelters."

 

Current Road Closures:

  • Hwy 101 both directions at Valley Circle to Reyes Adobe
  • Hwy 101 offramps at Camarillo Springs
  • Hwy 1 southbound (Pacific Coast Hwy) closed at Las Posas Rd.
  • Bell Canyon Rd. at Valley Circle Blvd.
  • Borchard at Los Vientos Dr.
  • Lynn Rd. at Reino Rd.
  • Potrero Rd. is closed between Rancho Dos Vientos and S. Lewis Rd.
  • Kanan Rd. Between Westlake Bl. and Lindero Canyon Rd.
  • Falling Star Ave. at Kanan Rd.
  • Erbes Rd. at Sapra St.

LA County Shelters:

  • Taft High School - 5461 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91364
  • Pierce College - 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91371
  • Palisades Charter High School – 15777 Bowdoin St., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
  • Canoga Park High School – 6850 Topanga Canyon, CA 91303
  • Red Cross shelters accepting animals in animal carriers.
  • DMH dispatched teams to all four shelters
  • Pepperdine University- Student are to shelter in place

Ventura County Shelters:

  • Borchard Community Center - 190 Reino Rd., Newbury Park, CA
  • Camarillo Community Center - 1605 E. Burnley St., Camarillo, CA
  • Rancho Santa Susana Rec. Center - 5005 Unit C Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, CA
  • Thousand Oaks Teen Center - 1375 E. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks
  • Thousand Oaks High School -

 Evacuations

As of 11/11/18 at 8:49 am

  • Malibu- entire city plus areas south of 101 Freeway from Ventura County border to Las Virgines/Malibu Canyon, southward to the ocean.
  • Topanga 
  • New mandatory evacuations east of Las Posas Road and south of Potrero Road to PCH and Ventura County line. 
  • Hidden Hills- entire community – residents urged to take Valley Circle Boulevard towards Chatsworth.
  • The entire City of Calabasas is now under evacuation, including Parkway Calabasas, including The Oaks, Vista Point, Westridge, Calabasas Hills, Calabasas Park Estates. 
  • Monte Nido/ Topanga - entire community.
  • Liberty Canyon west to Decker Canyon and south all the way to Pacific Coast Highway.
  • Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon east to Decker Canyon and west to Malibu/PCH.
  • Oak Park-entire community.
  • Bell Canyon- entire community.
  • South of Bard Lake, east of Highway 23.
  • South of Highway 101, east of Reino Road, north of Potrero Road, East to the Los Angeles/Ventura County Line.
  • Westlake Village.
  • West Hills, west of Valley Circle Boulevard with border to the north at Roscoe Boulevard and to the south at Vanowen Street.
  • Thousand Oaks – Thousand Oaks Boulevard north to Sunset Hills, from Oak Park west to Highway 23.
  • West of Highway 23, south of Olsen Road, north to Pederson Road.

Evacuation Centers: 

  • Camarillo Community Center –1605 E. Burnley St., Camarillo, CA 93010.Accepting small animals.
  • Borchard Community Center –190 Reino Rd., Newbury Park, CA 91320.Accepting small animals.
  • Goebel Senior Adult Center –1385 E. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362(at capacity)
  • Thousand Oaks Teen Center –1375 E. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362(at capacity)
  • Thousand Oaks Community Center –2525 N. Moorpark Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91360(closed)
  • Rancho Santa Susana Recreation Center –5005 Unit C Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063No animals accepted
  • Taft Charter High School –5461 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91364(at capacity)
  • Pierce College –7100 El Rancho Dr., Woodland Hills, CA 91371 (Entrance off Desoto Ave.)
  • Los Angeles County Animal Services Accepting large animals (at capacity)

Animal Shelters

As of 11/11/18 at 12:30 am

*Animals in crates are accepted at all Red Cross shelters EXCEPT Palisades Charter*

  • Ventura County Fair Grounds – 10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura, CA 93001 (at capacity)
  • Ventura County Animal Services (805) 388-4258
  • Ventura County Animal Shelter – 600 Aviation Dr, Camarillo, CA 93010
  • Ventura County Animal Services (805) 388-4258 Accepting small animals
  • Simi Valley Animal Shelter – 670 W Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley · (805) 388-4341 (Accepting small animals)
  • Pierce College – 7100 El Rancho Drive Woodland Hills, CA 91371 (Entrance off Desoto Ave.) (at capacity)

Los Angeles County Animal Services

  • Hansen Dam Equestrian Center – 11127 Orcas Avenue, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342 (at capacity)
  • Los Angeles County Animal Services
  • Earl Warren Show Grounds – 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 Check-in at Gate C off of Calle Real Accepting large animals

If you need large animal assistance, please call (805) 388-4258

Fire crews were able to gain some ground on the Woolsey fire Saturday as a brief lull in winds allowed their aerial attack crews drop water on the fast-moving flames. However, because the Santa Ana winds are forecast through Tuesday, Ventura County Fire Department Chief Mark Lorenzen cautioned people about becoming complacent. 

"Don't be lulled by a false sense of security," said Lorenzen. "Stay vigilant, don't let your guard down." 

The Woolsey Fire began Thursday afternoon in Ventura County and spread quickly thanks to strong Santa Ana winds that pushed the fuel-hungry fire toward dry brush that hasn't burned for years. Several multi-million dollar mansions along with mobile homes have been consumed by the fire, Cal Fire said. The fire jumped Pacific Coast Highway about 10 p.m. Friday night as it headed toward Malibu Colony. 

The National Park Service for the Santa Monica Mountains tweeted that the famed Western Town at Paramount Ranch, where hundreds of TV and movies have been filmed, including HBO's "Westworld" had been burned. Officials said they were unsure to the extent of the damage to the famed movie ranch. 

 

The fire has also prompted the closure of all schools in the Las Virgenes Unified School District in Calabasas, as well as Viewpoint School, Montessori of Calabasas, Montessori of Calabasas Too and Muse School. 

Schools in the Conejo Valley School District have also been shut down. It's unclear when those will re-open. 

All schools in the Santa Monica, Malibu Unified School District will remain closed until at least Wednesday, the district announced. 

 

Photos: Getty Images, Corbin Carson, Andrew Mollenbeck, Monica Rix, Kris Ankarlo

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