Hwy. 101 closed north of L.A. as sec­ond wild­fire burns to­ward Mal­ibu

The Tribune (SLO) - - Front Page - BY LIND­SEY HOLDEN, GIANA MAGNOLI AND MICHAEL MCGOUGH

San Luis Obispo County res­i­dents trav­el­ing south into Ven­tura County and Los An­ge­les should use cau­tion and be pre­pared for de­tours caused by two wild­fires that closed parts of High­way 101 and prompted thou­sands to flee their homes.

The Woolsey and Hill fires filled South­ern Cal­i­for­nia skies with tow­er­ing columns of smoke and forced the evac­u­a­tion of res­i­dents in more than 75,000 homes in Ven­tura and Los An­ge­les coun­ties, ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Pho­tos showed lines of flames inch­ing down the coastal hills to­ward Mal­ibu as bil­low­ing gray smoke loomed over­head while res­i­dents evac­u­ated the area via the Pa­cific Coast High­way in bumper-to­bumper traf­fic on all four lanes.

The fires erupted sud­denly, start­ing with the Hill Fire, which was re­ported in the Hill Canyon area of Santa Rosa Val­ley at about 2 p.m. Thurs­day. It quickly charred thou­sands of acres and jumped High­way 101, which was closed in the area overnight, ac­cord­ing to the Ven­tura County Fire De­part­ment.

High­way 101 re­opened in both direc­tions in Ven­tura County, but then closed Fri­day far­ther south in Los An­ge­les County due to the Woolsey

Fire burn­ing near the bor­der be­tween the two coun­ties.

That fire — which ig­nited in Woolsey Canyon east of Simi Val­ley on Thurs­day — had burned 10,000 acres west of Los An­ge­les by Fri­day evening, ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press, and con­tin­ued to burn to­ward Mal­ibu, which was un­der a com­plete evac­u­a­tion or­der.

The Ven­tura County Fire De­part­ment said there was zero con­tain- ment on the Woolsey Fire.

Driv­ers head­ing south to Los An­ge­les en­coun­tered clo­sures on both sides of High­way 101 from Reyes Adobe Road in Agoura Hills to Val­ley Cir­cle Boule­vard in Los An­ge­les, ac­cord­ing to Cal­trans District 7. High­way 1 was closed at the Ven­tura-Los An­ge­les county line and from the junc­tion of High­way 10 in L.A. to Topanga Canyon Boule­vard.

Trav­el­ers could con­tinue to con­nect to High­way 118 through Simi Val­ley and then on to High­way 5. High­way 126, which in­ter­sects with High­way 101 in Ven­tura, pro­vides an­other con­nec­tion to High­way 5. San Luis Obispo County driv­ers who want to avoid the fire area al­to­gether can cut across to High­way 5 via High­way 46, High­way 58 or High­way 166.

BAT­TLING THE HILL AND WOOLSEY FIRES

The Ca­mar­illo-area fire, dubbed the Hill Fire, was fed by 25- to 30-mph winds that pushed flames across High­way 101 and to­ward Pa­cific Coast High­way, Ven­tura County Fire­spokesman Mike Lind­bery said Thurs­day night.

Point Mugu Naval Air Sta­tion and a com­mu­ni­ca­tions ar­ray on La­guna Peak were in the fire’s path, he added.

The Ven­tura County Fire De­part­ment on Fri­day morn­ing es­ti­mated the blaze had burned 6,100 acres, a smaller num­ber than a Thurs­day af­ter­noon es­ti­mate of 8,000 to 10,000 acres. Later in the day, the de­part­ment re­ported no sig­nif­i­cant growth in the size of the fire.

Fire­fight­ers from Ven­tura and Los An­ge­les coun­ties also con­tin­ued to bat­tle the Woolsey Fire un­der a uni­fied com­mand as it burned to­ward the coast.

The Na­tional Park Ser­vice said Fri­day that Western Ranch, a movie set built by Paramount Pic­tures in Agoura, in the hills out­side Los An­ge­les, had burned down, ac­cord­ing to the AP.

Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at the Ven­tura County emer­gency page, www.VCEmer­gency.com, or by call­ing 805-465-6650 for up­dates on road clo­sures, evac­u­a­tion perime­ters and shel­ters.

Fol­low Cal­trans District 7 on Twit­ter for con­tin- uing up­dates on road clo­sures.

Noozhawk ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor Tom Bolton con­trib­uted re­port­ing to this story.

Lind­sey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lind­seymholden

Noozhawk manag­ing ed­i­tor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmag­noli@noozhawk.com. Fol­low Noozhawk on Twit­ter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Con­nect with Noozhawk on Face­book.

LOS AN­GE­LES COUNTY FIRE DE­PART­MENT

An aerial view of the Woolsey Fire on Fri­day morn­ing shows huge plumes of smoke from the blaze threat­en­ing Ven­tura and Los An­ge­les coun­ties. “Many” struc­tures were dam­aged and de­stroyed overnight Thurs­day, au­thor­i­ties said.

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