NEWBURY PARK (CBSLA) — On Friday night the Ventura County Fire Department said that they were making good progress on the Hill Fire in the Newbury Park area, reporting that the fire was holding at approximately 6,000 acres and 15 percent containment.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered in Ventura County after the brush fire erupted Thursday afternoon, forcing a closure of the 101 Freeway for several hours overnight.
More than 17,000 people in Ventura County have been evacuated from the Hill Fire, according to fire officials.
It was one of two large blazes burning in the Southland, the other being the 35,000-acre Woolsey Fire burning in Thousand Oaks and into Malibu.
More than 500 firefighters were battling the Hill Fire that broke out at Hill Canyon and Santa Rosa Road around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, authorities said. As of Friday evening, the blaze was burning 10,000 acres. However, crews were making good progress because the fire had gone into the burn area of the 2013 Springs Fire.
“Fortunately for us, it [the Hill Fire] is burning into the old footprint of the Springs Fire from 2013, and the fire activity has diminished and allowed us to focus a little more heavily on the … Woosley Fire,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen told reporters at a news conference Friday.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered for all areas of Camarillo Springs, Vallecito Trailer Park, California State University Channel Islands, Point Magu Naval Base, as well as these areas of Dos Vientos and South Coast. An estimated 1,200 homes were affected. Those remained in place as of Friday morning.
The 101 Freeway was shut down in both directions. At about 4 a.m. Friday, the northbound side was reopened, but the southbound side remained closed from Pleasant Valley Road to Wendy Drive.
“I was actually in Thousand Oaks when it first happened and me and my mom jumped in the car and made it home as soon as possible,” Ciera Muscarella told CBS2. “Everything was getting shut down, we didn’t know if we were going to be able to get home and luckily we got home just in time.”
Firefighters meanwhile had their hands full Friday with the 35,000 acre Woolsey Fire which ignited in the area of Rocketdyne south of Simi Valley at 2:25 p.m. Thursday. More than 75,000 homes were evacuated in Ventura and L.A. counties.
For a list of evacuation zones, road and school closures, click here.
Those looking for information on family or friends can call the Ventura County Joint Information Hotline at 805-465-6650.