WeatherFire Watch


Portions of Hwy 101 reopen, re-population efforts begin for Woolsey Fire

Posted at 5:48 PM, Nov 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-12 01:53:32-05

UPDATE (Sunday 10:50 p.m.)- Caltrans District 7 is re-opening portions of Highway 101 as the Woolsey Fire continues to burn. All lanes of southbound and northbound Highway 101 are open from Reyes Adobe Road to Valley Circle are open. Several closures remain in place.

Officials are allowing residents to return to portions of the Thousand Oaks area Sunday night. Mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted east of Westlake Boulevard, north/south/east of Kanan Road, and north of Tamarind Street.

Mandatory evacuation orders have also been lifted for areas east of Erbes Road, south of Olsen Road, west of Westlake Boulevard, and north of Highway 101.

The Woolsey Fire is now 85,000 acres and 15 percent contained.

UPDATE (Sunday 5:48 p.m.) – The entire city of Calabasas is now under a mandatory evacuation order.

UPDATE (Sunday 4:50 p.m.) – Firefighters are slowly gaining ground on the devastating Woolsey Fire.

On Sunday afternoon, officials provided good news after the expected winds made flareups within the perimeter of the blaze.

As of 4:50 p.m., the fire remains at 83,275 acres but containment has increased to 10 percent contained.

Evacuation orders and road closures remain in place. Some residents have still not evacuated, creating problems for crews. Officials urged they heed the orders.

The two people, found in their vehicle killed by the fire, have not been identified.

There have been no incidents of looting. Several firefighters have suffered minor injuries.

No additional structures were lost. The estimated number is currently 177 but the official tally could increase when crews get a better look on Monday.

(Saturday 8:53 p.m.) – Officials provided updated numbers on the Woolsey fire Saturday night.

The fire size is now 83,275 acres and remains five percent contained.

An estimated 57,000 structures are threatened, 177 have been destroyed, two other structures were damaged.

Due to decreased winds, crews have been able to implement and reinforce existing containment lines.

Firefighting efforts, according to the press release, will remain focused on the protection of life and structures.

Two people have died in the fire.

Highway 101 remains closed.

UPDATE (5:08 p.m.) Officials held a press conference on the Woolsey and Hill fires Saturday afternoon.

So far, 70,000 acres have burned, killing two people who were found severely burned, sitting in their vehicle, fire officials said. Los Angeles County sheriff’s chief John Benedict said at a news conference Saturday that the vehicle was sitting on a long residential driveway in Malibu when it was found.

Highway 101 remains closed near Malibu but could open Saturday night. More than 265,000 residents remain under evacuation orders in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

At a wide-ranging news conference this afternoon, fire officials report the Woolsey Fire is now five percent contained. The fire has burned an area roughly 109 square miles but it is spread out over rough, hilly terrain. Cal Fire has requested additional firefighting assistance from surrounding states in conjunction with help from California counties.

The firefight Saturday night will be focused on cutting in additional containment lines as they prepare for the wind event Sunday through Tuesday which will bring strong 30 to 40 mile an hour winds. “There was a narrow window of calm today which allowed fire fighters a short break,” said fire officials.

Cal Fire says residents “must remain vigilant. The wind event Sunday through Tuesday could be more severe than what we’ve seen the last few days.”

There are 95,000 residents in Ventura County and 170,000 residents in L.A. County who remain under evacuation orders. Some residents evacuated during the Hill Fire can now return home: Camarillo Springs, Dos Vientos, Vallecito Mobile Home Park, CSU Channel Islands. Those residents who are allowed to return home will need a valid ID.

Fire officials say they do not have a new estimate on homes destroyed but have said previously that at least 150 homes have burned.

Officials asked residents to remain vigilant as severe weather and winds are expected for Sunday.

CHP says northbound at PCH remains closed at Sunset Blvd.

The fires that erupted Thursday hit especially hard in Thousand Oaks, the Ventura County town still reeling from a deadly attack this week on a local bar that left a dozen people and the gunman dead. Even as residents grieve, the mayor says most of the town has emptied.

UPDATE (3:45 p.m.) – Some residents are returning home to charred remains after the Woosley fire continues to churn through thousands of acres. While at least 200,000 remain evacuated, the fate of their homes unknown. A news conference will be held at 4:30 p.m. to update the latest information.

Nothing was left but the horses for a Southern California rancher.

Arik Fultz and his family spent Saturday morning sifting through the charred remains of their 40-acre horse ranch near Malibu, but nothing was left after it was hit by Southern California wildfires that had burned more than 100 square miles and destroyed at least 150 homes.

Fultz tells The Associated Press it’s incredible to see it all gone just 24 hours after everything was fine.

Fultz and his family lost two houses, two barns, three trailers and decades of possessions.

All 52 of their horses survived. Most rode out the flames in open pastures.

Actress Alyssa Milano tweeted Saturday that her house “is still standing” a day after she and thousands of others were forced to hurriedly evacuate because of the fast-moving fire.

Numerous stars are waiting to learn the fate of their homes and prized possessions. Rainn Wilson tweeted Saturday that flames came within about a dozen yards of his home, but it was spared. Lady Gaga tweeted late Friday that she did not know the status of her home.

Authorities have said more than 150 homes have burned in the fire and that number would likely rise.

CAL Fire SLO has taken over command.

UPDATE (1:55 p.m.) – Air quality officials are warning residents in Southern California to be wary of unhealthy breathing conditions because of smoke caused by the Woolsey Fire.

South Coast officials said people who see smoke or ash should stay indoors with their windows and doors closed and avoid rigorous activitiy.

The National Weather Service posted imagery of the smoke caused by California Wildfires between Point Mugu and Malibu.

UPDATE (12:25 p.m.) – Local Fire crews are giving updates on their mutual aid work at the Woolsey Fire.

Saturday morning, SLO City fire posted photos from an apartment complex fire they were stationed at. crews said they were able to save the majority of units.

There are dozens of local firefighters helping wtih the Woolsey fire and other California wildfires.

UPDATE (11:20 a.m.) – According to KNBC, Firefighters will have a narrow window of calm wind Saturday to gain ground on the Woolsey Fire, which has grown to 70,000 acres as of Saturday morning.

Red Flag winds will go back into effect early Sunday are not expected to expire until Tuesday evening.

Woolsey and Hill fire press conference update for November 10, 2018

Posted by Ventura County Fire Department on Saturday, November 10, 2018

(AP/KSBY) – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office says two deaths have been reported in the Woolsey Fire that’s been burning out of control in southern California since Thursday.

The bodies were reportedly found along Mulholland Drive. The deaths are under investigation.

The fire broke out Thursday south of Simi Valley and doubled in size from 35,000 acres Friday to 70,000 acres Saturday. The fire is burning in both Ventura and Los Angeles counties and was 0 percent contained Saturday morning.


“Last night was a tough night as the fire jumped the 101 and ran into Malibu,” officials said Saturday morning. “Firefighters (and others) made heroic efforts in saving lives and protecting properties.”

Highway 101 is back open in Ventura County, but remains closed in portions of Los Angeles County. It was not known when the highway could reopen.

More than 150 homes have reportedly been destroyed by the Woolsey Fire and smaller Hill Fire. Officials said Saturday damage assessment teams would be going out to get a better idea of the number of structures damaged or destroyed. Officials said there was “significant structure loss.”


Thousands have been ordered to evacuate from Thousand Oaks to Malibu and Acting Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency due to both fires. For evacuation information, click here.

Some at Pepperdine University reportedly sheltered in place on campus Saturday night into Sunday, but no injuries were reported there, officials said.

Fire officials said their objectives Saturday were to get perimeter control along the east side of the fire at Bell Canyon and Highway 101 and to keep the fire from growing beyond its current perimiter.

During a press briefing Saturday morning, officials say information on repopulation to evacuated areas could come later in the day.

Winds are being blamed for pushing the flames through scenic canyon communities and ridgetop homes.

Forecasters say the 50-mph gusts won’t return until Sunday, and hard-pressed firefighters hope to use that respite to make progress in halting the spread of flames.

Officials say two arrests for looting were made Friday and they stress that anyone who goes into the area for that reason will be arrested and prosecuted.

Several firefighters and officers from the Central and South Coasts have been sent to Southern California to assist with the fires and other resources from other states were being called in to assist.

There is no word yet on what sparked either blaze.

Smoke from large fires burning throughout the state is said to likely impact the Central Coast more on Saturday.

President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal payments to California, claiming its forest management is “so poor.”

Trump says Saturday via Twiitter that “there is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly fires in California.” Trump says “billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

The comments were Trump’s first about massive wildfires, including a blaze that incinerated most of the Northern California town of Paradise and killed at least nine people.

Trump earlier issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds to help firefighters.