Wildfire Begins in Ventura County, California: Thousand Oaks in Path, 101 Freeway Shut Down in Latest Updates

Ventura County, California is under siege again as a wildfire burned in parts of neighborhoods a mere two miles from The Borderline Bar and Grill where 12 people were killed on Wednesday.

Camarillo Springs, Dos Vientos and the campus Cal State Channel Islands were each issued mandatory evacuations hours after the fire began on Thursday.

The fire began around 2 p.m. Hill Canyon off Santa Rosa Road near Newbury Park and had burned over 10,000 acres in two hours as strong winds whipped through canyons and pushed the blaze towards the Pacific Ocean and the border of Los Angeles County.

The 101 Freeway was closed in both directions at Camarillo Springs Road, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Television star Alyssa Milano tweeted that she had evacuated her home to avoid the fire, taking only her children, dogs, computer and Doc Marten boots.

Ventura County Fire Capt. Brian McGrath told The Los Angeles Times that his team had responded to both the fire and the massacre on Wednesday evening, with some firefighters coming back on shift to take part in the procession for Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed in the shooting.

“Most personnel were able to get a few hours of rest and, now, are back at it. We are ready and we are here,” McGrath said.

On Thursday evening, firefighters were attempting to fight the blaze through the air as steep terrain made the area largely inaccessible.

The Hill Fire is burning the same footprint as the Springs Fire which destroyed 24,000 acres in May 2013.

“The wind is definitely pushing this thing toward the ocean just like the Springs fire a few years ago. It’s very fast,” McGrath told The Times.

A second, smaller fire also began Thursday near Woolsey Canyon Road and had burned about 1,000 acres with a mandatory evacuation issued for a small area in Bell Canyon. Officials in nearby Calabasas issued voluntary evacuations and stressed that no homes are in immediate danger.

No injuries have been reported in either fire.

Much of Northern California is currently under a red flag fire warning, meaning that conditions are ideal for the development and rapid spread of wildfires. A portion of Southern California, including Los Angeles and San Diego, is under the same notice.

The National Weather Service has forecasted the strongest winds to arrive Thursday night and into Friday morning with gusts between 40 and 50 mph in the valleys and coasts. In the mountains, wind gusts could be between 60 and 70 mph.

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