SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) – Firefighters Thursday gained ground on the wind-driven Easy Fire which erupted in Simi Valley early Wednesday morning near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and then spread into Moorpark, jumping the 23 Freeway and forcing thousands of people to evacuate.
Just after 10 a.m., all mandatory evacuation orders were lifted. At the fire’s height, 30,000 people were under mandatory evacuations, another 2,000 were under voluntary evacuations and 7,000 structures were threatened.
The Easy Fire had scorched 1,723 acres and was 10 percent contained Thursday, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. The fire erupted just after 6 a.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of West Los Angeles Avenue — in the area of the 118 Freeway and Madera Road — and quickly spread west. By Wednesday afternoon the flames jumped the 23 Freeway just north of Tierra Rejada Road.
At least five outbuildings had been destroyed and one home had possibly burned. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, although Southern California Edison reported that the blaze may have started near one of its transmission lines.
More than 34,300 SoCal Edison customers in Ventura County remained without electricity Thursday due to planned power outages due to the Santa Ana winds.
The 23 Freeway, which had been shut down most of Wednesday, reopened Thursday. However, Tierra Rejada Road between the 23 Freeway and Madera Road was still closed.
SoCal Edison: Transmission Line May Have Started Fire, Review Underway
Dozens of Ventura County schools which were closed Wednesday will remain closed again Thursday.
Evacuees could stay at the Thousand Oaks Community Center and the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center.
Three firefighters have been injured during the firefight.