Woolsey Fire, bell canyon, evacuations Woolsey Fire Destroys 150+ Homes; 250,000 Evacuated – CBS Los Angeles

List of Closures and Evacuations | Real-Time Updates

SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) — A brush fire spanning two counties doubled Saturday morning to 70,000 acres, continuing to make a destructive march toward the Pacific Ocean, destroying at least 150 homes and forcing the evacuation of more thanCalabassas .

Powered by Santa Ana winds and dry air, the Woolsey Fire, which erupted Thursday afternoon in Ventura County before it raced into Los Angeles County, chewed its way through brush and into neighborhoods of Westlake Village and Malibu.

The fire remained at zero containment as of Saturday morning. At least 2,000 firefighters had been dispatched to battle the blaze.

The L.A. County Fire Dept. Friday confirmed reports of a critical burn patient in the 33000 block of Mulholland in Malibu. Officials said they were not immediately able to get to the patient due to downed powerlines on the road. The L.A. County Coroner confirmed shortly before 10 p.m. two bodies had been found in the burn area of the Woolsey Fire. It was not immediately clear if the deaths were as a result of the fire.

Emergency officials were urging residents to adhere to evacuation orders to avoid injury. By Saturday morning, there were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

At least 75,000 homes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties were under evacuation orders due to the Woolsey Fire, one of two wildfires burning in the region — the other being the 4,500-acre Hill Fire burning in Newbury Park.

Just after 5 a.m. Friday, the blaze jumped the south side of the 101 Freeway at Chesebro Road near Calabasas. In response, California Highway Patrol shut down a four-mile stretch of the 101 Freeway from Las Virgenes Road to Kanan Road.

“Early this morning, as the fire transitioned through Agoura Hills, the fire jumped the 101 Freeway right around Liberty Canyon, mid-slope, caught wind, and became quickly established at where we were at today,” L.A. County Deputy Fire Chief David Richardson told reporters at a morning news conference.

(credit: CBS)

The entire city of Malibu was under an unprecedented mandatory evacuation, in addition to areas south of the 101 Freeway, from the Ventura line to Malibu Canyon. The fire was burning south of Mulholland Highway and around 10:30 p.m. flames jumped Pacific Coast Highway, headed toward The Colony on Malibu Road.

Residents were advised to use PCH to evacuate, and to avoid using canyon roads. All four lanes of PCH were opened for southbound traffic at 12:45 p.m.  Complicating matters were the traffic signals that were knocked out of service. Drivers were being advised to use the 405 Freeway up to the 118 Freeway in order to get around the backup.

Despite evacuations in Malibu and flames threatening near campus, Pepperdine University called for students and staff to shelter in place.

RELATED: ‘You’re Safe Here’: Pepperdine University Sheltering In Place Despite Evacuations, Fire Raging Near Campus

Evacuations were also issued north of the 101 Freeway from Valley Vista to Reyes Adobe in the areas of Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village, as well as in West Hills.

“We have over 300 Los Angeles County firefighters here, and as mentioned collectively, that’s going to grow, as we continue to battle this fire, as it is headed to the Pacific Ocean,” Richardson said.

Embers falls from burning palms and the sun is obscured by smoke as flames close in on a house at the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018 in Malibu, California. About 75,000 homes have been evacuated in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to two fires in the region. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Scott Dettorre earlier told CBS2 that “dozens of homes” had been damaged or destroyed, but there was no exact count.

“The fire has progressed down into the city of Thousand Oaks,” Dettorre said.

“It’s a mandatory evacuation, what that means is, you don’t have to leave, we want you to leave,” Ventura County Fire spokesman Rich Macklan told CBS2 early Friday. “But people know they can’t get back in once they do leave. We want people to leave early, when firefighters ask you to, because firefighting equipment needs to come in and do their work. And if you leave early, it helps us tremendously.”

CBS2 reporter Tom Wait described conditions on the ground in Oak Park as “apocalyptic,” as ember and ash rained down on the streets below.

The Woolsey Fire broke out about 2:25 p.m. Thursday, pushed by strong Santa Ana winds which prevented fire commanders from ordering aerial assaults in the early morning hours. Finally, some flights began at 5:30 a.m. as the wind died down but within 30 minutes, the wind was picking up again as dawn neared and was expected to be strong until 10 Friday evening.

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom issued an emergency proclamation Friday for L.A. and Ventura counties.

RELATED: Mandatory Evacuations Issued As Newbury Park Fire Rages

About 2:30 a.m. Friday, mandatory evacuation orders that had been issued in the city of Los Angeles near West Hills and Hidden Hills were changed from mandatory to voluntary, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The orders affected residents north of the 101 Freeway, south of Bell Canyon Road, west of Valley Circle Boulevard and east of the Los Angeles city limit. Evacuation orders in the Hidden Hills area of Los Angeles County were also downgraded to voluntary.

About 12:30 a.m., all residents in Los Angeles and Ventura counties north of the Ventura 101 Freeway, south of Bell Canyon Road, west of Valley Circle Boulevard and east of Erbes Road, as well as north of Kanan Road, west of Lindero Canyon to Erbes Road extending north to Sunset Hills Boulevard were told to evacuate, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. That includes areas of Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village, all in L.A. County.

Meanwhile, L.A. County Fire Battalion Chief Trey Espy confirmed 15 to 20 homes were impacted in the area of Kellwood Court and Churchwood Drive in Oak Park, and additional homes were impacted in nearby areas. Espy said firefighters were creating “water curtains” between the homes and would remain on-scene until the threat was contained.

Horses are spooked as the Woolsey Fire moves through the property on Cornell Road near Paramount Ranch on November 9, 2018 inAgoura Hills, California. About 75,000 homes have been evacuated in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to two fires in the region. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images)

“They will continue to save homes and do whatever they can until the work is done,” L.A. County Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Trey Espy told CBS2.

The Los Angeles Police Department was placed on a citywide tactical alert about 12:45 a.m. to ensure all resources are available to assist with any evacuation orders and road closures prompted by the Woolsey Fire, according to a department statement.

“If you’re in an affected area and have been ordered to evacuate, evacuate,” the statement said.

Flames have been driven by 50 to 60 mph winds.

“It’s been a roller coaster,” one Oak Park resident told CBS2, explaining he decided to stay behind and watch over his neighbors’ homes in the area of Kellwood Ct. and Churchwood Dr. and had the utmost faith in firefighters.

“Hopefully they’re able to get it under control and save this neighborhood,” he said.

Another homeowner, speaking to CBS2, said he feared his home would be among those lost in the blaze.

“It was coming like a freight train,” he said, praising firefighters. “There’s not a lot of buffer here but these guys are just awesome.”

A red flag warning was expected to remain in place until Tuesday.

Thousand Oaks was also the scene of a mass shooting late Wednesday at a nightclub where 11 civilians and a sheriff’s sergeant were killed. The suspected gunman, a Marine Corps veteran, killed himself.

Those looking for information on family or friends can call the Ventura County Joint Information Hotline at 805-465-6650.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

Comments (129)
  1. Jana Jones says:

    What started the Woolsey & Hill fires? No news report is giving any explanation of how these tragic fires began. Tons of news reporting on ‘the wind’, low humidity and shortage of man power to fight so many areas of fire. Please, someone report what on earth started it. Was a lightening storm involved? Was it a careless person? A camp fire? Blame doesn’t remedy the current conditions, but public information should include the reason for this horrible event. People are losing their homes and I am certain they want to know WHY.

    1. Susan Daniels says:

      These fires are being set by terrorists. They threatened earlier this year that they would do that.

    2. Rick Fernandez says:

      May be Arson!!! And the population de California is not following GOD!!!!

      1. Andrew Martinson says:

        God is a Conservative

      2. marty lopez says:

        God ? We don’t even follow the law

  2. Arnold Bianchi says:

    Oh the humanity! Good luck with those fires, California

  3. Gil Stonebarger says:

    when the big one hits, imagine what will happen…..

  4. Joseph Dominic Matulonis says:

    California has legalized the spread of HIV..they are paying the price of being evil. I do pray that the God fearing people are not harmed. those who support the spreading of diseases have cast their destiny.

    1. Christine Chirichigno says:

      Sadly you speak the truth, maybe this is Gods wrath pouring out.

  5. Don Lum says:

    God works in mysterious ways by putting the sinners in the penalty box……putting the Demoncrats not the true Democrats on notice…….

  6. Hal Slusher says:

    Sounds bad. Hope they got good insurance.

  7. This is the way nature clears out the forest and wood lands. It’s a shame that people are not allowed to harvest some of that Wood that is now become a source of pollution to add to global warming.

  8. thanks DEMS,10 billion a year for illegals ,would buy 400 firefighting Helicopters >>think about that when you lose your home>

  9. Timothy Barker says:

    I know I’m wasting my time, but you people who inject politics into this ought to stop and take a real serious look at yourselves. Shameful behavior!

  10. When you idiots in California figure out you voted yourselves out of your state, don’t come to Texas. We already have enough of you liberal locusts here voting the same damn way. Stay the hell out.

    1. Colby Hutton says:

      Cant wait to move to Texas and Vote blue. Thanks for the idea.

      1. I knew I would trigger a CA soy boy… No Colby Hutton, your progressive government needs your highest taxed ass in the nation to pay for your sanctuary cities, state sanction spread of HIV and maybe you can get a job in San Fransikko spotting human feces on the street. Really! They will pay you for this! Lol! …. So get to work Colby.

  11. Martin Deano says:

    In the past this would have brought tears to my eyes as I prayed for my fellow Americans as they suffered through this catastrophe. After the last 10 years of watching the slimy Hollywood celebrities and high tech fascists of San Francisco destroy America I hope they lose everything they have.

  12. John B. Darke says:

    California (where I lived for 42 years) needs to erect fire watch towers and man them with volunteers to spot these fires and direct fire fighters to get to the flames early. I would think the big insurance companies would be well advised to pay for these towers to prevent the huge payouts from homes being burned to the ground. Hopefully the politicians will give this some thought before it is too late.

    1. We used to have them but they were all defunded…don’t remember whose administration was in charge of that one though.

  13. Richard Miller says:

    All you Lefist low life sinners are gonna reap what you sew. God will not be mocked.

  14. Murdoch Patsy McReynolds says:

    I hope all the libcuck Kalifornians burn!

  15. Jerry Snaper says:

    Jan.23. 2018
    “The greatest responsibility lies upon the Muslims in America and the Western countries in the world,” he said.

    “The Muslims inside the occupied land must kill every Jew and kuffar, by running him over, or stabbing him, or by using against him any weapon, or by burning their homes.”

    Batarfi is a senior figure with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), described by the US as the worldwide jihadist network’s most dangerous branch.

  16. …ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
    Good riddance california…you will not be missed.

  17. Has there been a fund set-up for displaced entertainers and celebrities?

  18. Jim Fuss says:

    well all these fires has certainly put a damper on California’s carbon emission reduction program. Time for CA to raise the carbon tax again.

  19. Didn’t something similar happen to Baia.. minus the volcano and sinking, of course.

  20. Stephen F. Paul says:

    This is God burning the liberals out. they shouldn’t waste the water

  21. Zak Watson says:

    People say there is a RACE problem. People say this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY and ONLY into White countries.

    People say the only solution to the RACE problem is if ALL and ONLY White countries “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-Whites.

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against White people, Anti-Whites agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  22. Robert Kelly says:


    “What goes around comes around.”

    By trying to evilly, unjustly push Trump out of office, these Satanic demons have caused a higher power to push them out.

    And their problems are just beginning.

  23. Jacquelyn Diane says:

    It is so disheartening to see such hate spewed in these comments. We hold all Californians close to our hearts as they deal with the past 2 days of tragedies. We send out love to all those feeling so hateful that you might experience empathy and humanity.

  24. Richard Stenger says:

    Saw this on Drudge. Then went to http://www.PressCalifornia.com for more real California news.

  25. I remember years ago when we first entered into war with Iraq and other middle eastern countries they would show videos from some of the most wanted terrorist Muslims. They said they would use their cells in the US to cause as much devastation as possible by starting fires in the West. I very distinctly remember hearing that on more than one occasion. Since then how many slime has the US allowed to come here??? Ever since we have been having horrendous and multiple fires, which is the giveaway that these are being purposely set, and who would want to cause this much devastation and death too?? WHO?? It’s not rocket science…..oh they always come up with hokey story……it’s nothing but a cover up! They don’t want to cause trouble for them!?! They are complicit. DISGRACEFUL!!

  26. California needs to quit listening to the crazy enviromentalist and return to controlled burns to rid the forest of fuel. It won’t totally end wilfires but they will become far more manageable. Or keep doing the stupid you been doing there. Just gonna make my southeast timber worth more.

  27. Louise Godek Kovalik says:

    Mother nature is not a democrat.

  28. I left that progressive state way back in late 80s never regretted it, All this is unavoidable with larger and many more fire breaks but hey let’s save the rats environment over humans just a normal fire season in Kalifornia. They rule with feelings instead of thinking feel so sorry for the people of Kalifornia but you get what you vote for.

  29. Californians complain about lack of water. Each person uses on average 80 gallons a day. at lat count there was about 11 million illegals. That is 880 MILLION gallons of water per day they are not using for this fire! In one year that is 321,200,000,000 gallons of water, or enough to fill three of the largest reservoirs in California.

    1. The water each of us uses doesn’t simply disappear. It all ends up back in the ecosystem, some of it immediately and some of it after a delay. But it invariably ends up back in the oceans and lakes.
      Also, the firefighters were not limited by the amount of available water. Their biggest impediment was the wind and its effect on air operations.
      Also, 321 billion gallons is only 22% of the capacity of the state’s largest reservoir, Shasta Lake. It has a capacity of 4.5 million acre-ft (1400 billion gallons)

  30. It seems lots of people will be out of jobs before this is over.

  31. Andrew Martinson says:

    God fearing people should get the heII out of California while they can. God is dealing with that place and will continue to do so until they turn back to Him. Droughts, earthquakes, mudslides, fires, HIV . . . . . all being thrown at them for their deviant perverted behavior.

  32. blorjr says:

    These fires blew up awfully fast . About the same time the democrats made their move to steal the elections in Arizona and Florida . This is a good distraction for the main stream media.

  33. Andy Browning says:

    funny how these celebs are suddenly finding religion..asking for prayers and such..I pray for the “normal” folks and the wildlife to endure. Celebs have plenty of $$

  34. Marsha Moore says:

    For decades the enviro crazies have been running the Forestry policies and protecting what they call old growth . Meanwhile the young trees etc are weakened by poor environment an crowding. What the media will not tell you is that the radical left is cheering thousands of humans losing their home and even lives. why do you think they HATE “Thoughts and Prayers” so much. Next they will be passing laws denying people the right to rebuild on their own land. It’s coming, count on it! Well unless you are the super rich and politically connected.

  35. Dusty Granger says:

    This happens every year, thanks to the Democrats that are in control. The fire is always fueled by the same old growth / dead wood that the Liberals refuse to clear. So the fire is out of control due to the fuel that Liberals essentially put there. One sign of a mental disorder is you make the same blatant mistakes over and over and over, never learning the first time. People and other living things have to keep paying the price and suffer for the mental illness of Liberalism.