City reeling from shooting besieged by fire
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — A city reeling from the tragedy of a mass shooting was under a siege of a different sort Friday as raging wildfires on both sides of the city forced widespread evacuations and shut down part of the main freeway to town.
Flames driven by powerful winds torched at
least 150 homes in Southern California, burning parts of Calabasas and mansions in Malibu and prompting orders for 250,000 people – including some celebrities – to flee as the fire marched across the Santa Monica Mountains toward the sea. The cause of the blazes was not known.
For Thousand Oaks, which had been considered
one of the safest cities in the nation before a gunman massacred 12 people at a country music bar, the spasm of violence jolted the city’s sense of security. Encroaching flames presented an entirely different hazard. “It’s devastating. It’s like ‘welcome to hell,”’ resident Cynthia Ball, said about the dual disasters.