Ferocious winds in Southern California whipped up an explosive wildfire that forced more than 1,000 homes to evacuate and the destructive wildfire left at least one people dead, multiple sources have confirmed.
Fire officials say that the blaze broke out Monday east of Santa Paula 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and just hours later, the flames reached nearly 8 square miles.
The #ThomasFire near #SantaPaula and #Ojai has now torched 10k acres. Firefighters expect it to impact East Ventura by 1am. This is video of flames on both sides of Highway 150.... @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/YRly7scAbr
— Zohreen (@Zohreen) December 5, 2017
Officials say one person died in an auto accident related to the fire but did not give any details.
At a Monday night press conference, officials said, there is zero percent containment of the fire. A total of 500 firefighters has been battling the fire. Power outages are reported in Santa Paula, Camarillo, Ventura and Santa Barbara.
The fire is currently burning chaparral, a brush that has not burned in 20 years. The cause of the fire has not been determined yet. Authorities say Ventura, a city of over 100,000 people 12 miles away, is expected to feel the effects of the fire soon. A school with about 350 students, Thomas Aquinas College, has also been evacuated.
Destructive Wildfire in Southern California Forces Over 1,000 Homes to Evacuate and 1 Dead
The National Weather Service reports that winds of 43 mph with gusts over 60 mph have been in the area and are expected to continue. According to Sheriff's officials, two structures have burned so far. It wasn't clear what they were.