Published On: Wed, Dec 6th, 2017

California’s Ventura County blaze engulfs more than 50000 acres of land

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he wind-driven Thomas Fire exploded to 55,000 acres – or 70 square miles – with zero percent containment by Tuesday afternoon, destroying at least 150 structures, according to Ventura County fire officials.

Multiple homes in the area of Scenic Way Drive in Ventura could be seen burning from the air. In downtown Ventura, the Hawaiian Village apartment complex was engulfed in flames.

Other homes on High Point Drive above Foothill Road in Ventura were burning as embers blown by whipping winds filled the air.

In the San Gabriel Mountains foothills of Los Angeles about 45 miles away from the city, 30 structures burned. Mayor Eric Garcetti said the gusty winds expected to last most of the week had created a dangerous situation and he urged 150,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders to leave their homes before it’s too late.

“We have lost structures, we have not lost lives,” he said. “Do not wait. Leave your homes.”

The fires in Ventura County lit up hillsides and spread rapidly Monday evening from rural rolling hills to dense subdivisions. Residents, already warned of extreme fire danger, were sent automated phone alerts and evacuations appeared to proceed smoothly.

Curfew Imposed on Ventura County residents

More than 7,000 homes in Ventura County were under mandatory evacuation as the blaze closed in on downtown Ventura, where multiple structures were reportedly burning. Fire officials said 27,000 people were evacuated from their residences.

The city of Ventura imposed a curfew on residents until the state of emergency is lifted. The curfew, effective 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. prohibits people from being out in public places of the city, including streets and parks.

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