Woolsey Fire Burns 91,572 Acres, Currently 20 Percent Contained

Fire crews are bracing for another tough day of fighting the devastating Woolsey Fire that has already charred nearly 91,572 acres since it first broke out Thursday afternoon. Another Santa Ana wind event has been forecast for the fire area, reportedly bringing gusts of up to 40 mph through Tuesday. 

Firefighters working the deadly Woolsey fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties are trying to hold the blaze within already cleared containment lines, even as officials worry that unburned areas continue to post a potential threat. 

More than 3,200 firefighters have been assigned to the blaze that is so far only 20 percent contained. Cal Fire says at least 57,000 structures still remain under threat with the total number of structures destroyed at 370. That figure is nearly 200 higher since the previous estimate. Officials say they expect that number to rise in the coming days as assessment crews are able to get in and survey the fire damaged areas. 

Full containment of the blaze is expected by November 17, officials said. 

National Weather Service Meteorologist Curt Kaplan said the area could see stronger Santa Ana winds, with heavier gusts possible on Tuesday. Today's wind gusts could last longer into the afternoon as well. Winds in the mountain areas could average up to 50-60 mph with gusts of up to 70 mph on Tuesday. A Red Flag warning remained in effect for Los Angeles and Ventura counties through Tuesday. Officials say they may extend the Red Flag warning into Wednesday, as winds might be stronger than expected. 

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."

Most evacuation orders that have been issued are still in effect, however, the sheriff's department announced that re-population for residents in Agoura Hills and Westlake Village who were affected by the fire have been allowed to return home. 

 

The California Highway Patrol announced Sunday night that they have reopened the northbound and southbound Ventura (101) Freeway from Valley Circle Blvd with the offramps at Cheseboro Road, Kanan Road, Reyes Adobe Road and Lindero Canyon reopened. 

Pacific Coast Highway remains closed to all traffic from the Ventura/Los Angeles County line to Sunset Blvd.

The entire city of Calabasas was placed under a mandatory evacuation order, according to Calabasas City Manager Gary Lysik. 

“For your safety and the safety of your family, please collect necessary person items and evacuate the city as quickly as possible, and please follow instructions provided by law enforcement,” Lysik said. Residents can get the latest information on the evacuations and the city's situation  at www.cityofcalabasas.com.

A full list of evacuation orders and road closures can be found below: 

Current Road Closures: 

As of 11/11/18 at 11:03pm

  • Westbound SR-118 Freeway at Topanga Canyon. All lanes blocked for unknown duration due to Peak Fire. 
  • 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.

Evacuations

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

IMMEDIATE EVACUATION ORDER: Areas of Box Canyon and Lake Manor, Unincorporated Los Angeles. South of the 118 Freeway. Fast moving brush fire.

Repopulation Begins for Agoura Hills and Westlake Village Residents Affected By Woolsey Fire

PLEASE: DO NOT RE-ENTER EVACUATED AREAS. MANDATORY EVACUATION ORDERS WILL REMAIN IN PLACE UNTIL IT IS SAFE FOR RESIDENTS TO RETURN.

  • Entire city of Malibu, and areas south of 101 Freeway from Ventura County line to Las Virgenes/Malibu Cyn, southward to the ocean
  • Entire community of Hidden Hills – residents urged to take Valley Circle Blvd towards Chatsworth
  • Calabasas: All residences off Parkway Calabasas, including The Oaks, Vista Point, Westridge, Calabasas Hills, Calabasas Park Estates
  • Monte Nido, Topanga communities
  • Liberty Canyon west to Decker Canyon and south all the way to PCH
  • Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon on the east to Decker Canyon on the west all the way to Malibu at PCH
  • Oak Park – Entire Community
  • Bell Canyon – Entire Community
  • South of Bard Lake, east of Highway 23
  • South of Highway 101. East of Reino Rd., north of Potrero Rd., east to the L.A./Ventura County line
  • West Hills, west of Valley Circle Blvd with border to the north at Roscoe Blvd and to the south at Vanowen Street
  • Thousand Oaks – T.O. Blvd. – North to Sunset Hills, from Oak Park west to HWY 23
  • West of HWY 23 – South of E. Olson Road, North of Pederson Rd.
  • South of Bard Lake, East of HWY 23
  • South of HWY 101, East of Reino Rd., North of Potrero Rd., East to the L.A./Ventura County Line

Repopulation: Areas No Longer Under Evacuation Orders 

As of 11/12/18 at 11:15am

  • Newbury Park – South of Highway 101 to Lynn Road, between Reino Road and Lynn
  • Simi Valley – Long Canyon, Bridal Path, Wood Ranch
  • Thousand Oaks – Reino Road to Lynn Road to Highway 101
  • Thousand Oaks – East of Highway 23 to Erbes Road and North from Thousand Oaks Blvd north to Sunset Hills Blvd
  • Wood Ranch and Long Canyon – All areas outlined on map
  • Westlake Village, north of the 202 Freeway, Los Angeles County
  • Agoura Hills, north of the 101 Freeway, Los Angeles County

Shelters

As of 11/11/18 at 11:05 p.m.

  • 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 93063 (No 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.)
  • Canoga Park High School
  • Palisades Charter High School

Animal Shelters

As of 11/11/18 at 11:07 pm

*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 fire on Saturday and prevented it from spreading much further on Sunday. However, because winds are forecast for the region through Wednesday, Ventura County Fire Department Chief Mark Lorenzen cautioned people against 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. 

 

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby told reporters that crews were working around the clock to build containment lines, knock down flare-ups and update damage numbers. Osby said that there were no new figures to how many structures had been destroyed by the Woolsey Fire so far, but noted that officials first estimate of 177 is likely to increase. 

Officials said there were several flare-ups within the fire area on Sunday, but none outside the footprint where the first had already burned. 

Officials said that contrary to reports on social media, officials were not escorting residents back into evacuated areas to retrieve medications, Los Angeles police Lt. Eric Bixler said. 

A town hall meeting held Sunday at Taft Charter High School was attended by hundreds of concerned residents as representatives of law enforcement, fire departments, school districts, utilities and politicians. 

Sheriff's deputies are currently on 12-hour rotational shifts, with up to 600 deputies available to patrol the affected areas according to Los Angeles sheriff's Chief John Benedict. 

Officials also updated the status of the investigation into the two badly burned bodies found inside a burned vehicle in a long driveway. Benedict told the assembled crowd at the town hall that homicide detectives believe the driver became disoriented and the vehicle was overwhelmed by the fire. 

Concerns over radioactive dust kicked up by the fire were also raised by residents, since the fire had burned through the former Rocketdyne site at the Santa Susana field. A representative from the state's Department of Toxic Substances and Control told the crowd that a team had been sent to the area and had so far found no evidence that radioactive ash posed a threat. 

 

Los Angeles County Fire Chief David Richardson told the crowd assembled at the town hall that residents could expect to return to Malibu within three to five days. 

A boil water advisory has been issued for some residents within the Woolsey Fire area. Advisories were issued to the communities of Point Dume and Encinal Canyon by Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 29 and to the Los Virgenes Municipal Water District's service area, south of Westlake Village, east of the Ventura County line, north of the City of Malibu and west of Corral Canyon. 

Chris Thompson of Southern California Edison said there were 13,000 customers who initially lost power, mostly in Malibu, with that number being reduced to 9,000. 

One bit of good news, law enforcement officers reassured residents on Sunday that there had been no reports of looting or burglary in the affected areas. 

Malibu City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Jefferson "Zuma Jay" Wagner was recuperating at a local hospital from conditions related to his efforts to save his home on Friday night from the Woolsey Fire. 

 

Officials with the Los Angeles County say information on the fire can be found at www.lacounty.gov/woolseyfire. Malibu established a website as well, updating fire information at www.malibucity.org/woolsey

The Federal Aviation Administration tweeted Sunday to remind drone operators that they could face severe civil penalties and potential criminal prosecution if they flew a drone over fire areas.

During an update Sunday night, Gov. Jerry Brown said he had requested a "Major Disaster Declaration" from the federal government to activate funding that would 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."

 

Pepperdine University announced Sunday that classes were canceled through Nov. 26. because of the fire. 

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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