Two large fires are now burning in Ventura and Los Angeles counties that have jumped the 101. The Hill Fire has the southbound 101 closed at Pleasant Valley Road in Camarillo, and the northbound open at SR-23. This information changes from minute to minute, however, though the Caltrans District 7 Twitter feed tries to stay current.
A second fire broke out Thursday south of Simi Valley called the Woolsey Fire. It too has jumped the 101 near Chesebro Road, according to Ventura County Fire, and is moving south near Liberty Canyon Road. Santa Monica Mountain communities between there and the ocean were put under mandatory evacuation at 7 a.m., L.A. County Fire stated. Wind gusts are registering 50mph-plus there.
Caltrans reported all lanes of the 101 highway were closed as of 6:30 a.m. from Las Virgenes to Reyes Adobe in Thousand Oaks, due to the Woolsey fire. A brush fire, Woolsey broke out around 2:24 p.m. on Thursday, and 12 hours later was estimated at 8,000 acres by Ventura County Fire, with “many” structures damaged and destroyed.
The Woolsey Fire burns close to the heavily populated city of Simi Valley. Areas of both Ventura and Los Angeles counties are being evacuated near the fire, including Bell Canyon, parts of Thousand Oaks, and Oak Park, among others. For Los Angeles County, an interactive map at bit.ly/2Dvl9yf gives evacuation information by address. The air remains very dry, and the wind is gusting 30-50mph through the hills out of the northeast.
The CHP reported large backups on frontage roads and the highways yesterday and this morning. Trapped cars had been directed to the north using the southbound lanes to escape the flames at the height of the burnover. No injuries have been reported.
The situation remains highly fluid, with the agencies’ respective Twitter feeds offering the most up-to-date information.