Wind-driven brush fire quickly grew to at least 10,000 acres threatening homes
California Forest Fire
of homes have been evacuated as a wind-driven brush fire quickly grew
to at least 10,000 acres, threatening homes in Santa Paula and
Ventura on Monday evening and leading to the death of at least one
person, Ventura County authorities said.
Thomas Fire ignited about 6:25 p.m. above Steckel Park, in an
unincorporated north of Santa Paula, and burned along Highway 150,
according to Ventura County's emergency information website.
reports indicated the blaze had scorched about 50 acres and had a
"rapid rate of spread," the Ventura County Fire
Department's public information officer tweeted.
8 p.m., the fire had increased dramatically in size to 500 acres
because of "heavy winds," county fire officials tweeted.
Within three hours, the fire had burned 10,000 acres authorities
remained at 0 percent.
has been one confirmed fatality associated with the fire, from a
vehicle crash, authorities said.
were dealing with numerous spot fires as a result of the difficult
conditions, according to Ventura County Fire Captain Steve Kaufmann.
actually multiple different little fires out there because of the
conditions that we’re seeing," he told KTLA. "And so,
because of that we’ve ordered resources from all over the region.”
winds were driving the flames in an easterly direction, toward the
cities of Santa Paula and Ventura. Authorities said they expected the
fire to reach Ventura by about 1 a.m.