NORTH COUNTY — Since the Woolsey Fire, Hill Fire and Camp Fire broke out on Nov. 8, North County fire and law enforcement personnel deployed to assist in various fire operations throughout the state. Two fires in Ventura County — the Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire — have been growing.
As of Nov. 13, the Woolsey Fire is 96,314 acres with 35 percent containment and 435 structures destroyed. Two deaths and three firefighters injured. Evacuations and road closures remain in effect. The cause of the Woolsey fire is still under investigation.
The Hill Fire is 4,531 acres, 90 percent contained. No fatalities or injuries and two structures destroyed. Evacuations and road closures remain in effect. The cause of the fire is also still under investigation. A third fire, the Peak fire also in Ventura County started on Monday, Nov. 12 off of Highway 118 and Rocky Peak Road, east of Simi Valley but was quickly extinguished at 186 acres.
To the north, the Camp Fire in Butte County has been labeled “the most destructive fire in California recorded history,” per Cal Fire officials.
The Camp Fire is at 125,000 acres and 35 percent contained with 6,522 homes destroyed and 260 commercial buildings destroyed, and 42 deaths and three firefighters injured. Evacuations and road closures remain in effect. The cause is still under investigation.
In a statewide summary released on Tuesday by Cal Fire to date, “approximately 8,700 firefighters covering 1,246 fire engines, 130 dozers, 152 hand crews, 122 water tenders, 43 helicopters and numerous firefighting air tankers from throughout the state are battling three large wildfires in California. Out of state resources continue to arrive. These wind-driven fires have burned more than 225,845 acres and destroyed thousands of structures. More than 224,000 individuals have been impacted by these fires,” reads the statement.
Weather conditions continue to be a concern in the firefighter efforts in keeping these fires contained. Another round of gusts of Santa Ana winds is expected through Wednesday morning. Very low humidity will continue Thursday and Friday.
The Woolsey Fire in Ventura County has affected the following communities in the state of California — Thousand Oaks, Oak Park, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, West Hills, Simi Valley, Chatsworth, Bell Canyon, Hidden Hills, Malibu, and Calabasas. The Hill Fire, also in Ventura County is affecting north of Malibu and south of Simi Valley. The Camp Fire is in Butte County with the following communities affected — Paradise, Magalia, Concow, Butte Creek Canyon, and Butte Valley.
Cal Fire San Luis Obispo sent a strike team to the Camp Fire in Butte County and another strike team to the Hill Fire in Ventura in addition to other Cal Fire resources. San Luis Obispo County fire department also sent another strike team to the Hill Fire. A total of 10 engines, three Strike Team leaders and two dozers were deployed from San Luis Obispo County
On Nov. 8 the State Office of Emergency Services (OES) contacted the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office in providing mutual aid to Ventura County. The Sheriff's Office along with law enforcement agencies from across San Luis Obispo County responded to assist with the Woolsey Fire and were sent specifically to the Camarillo and Newberry Park area of Ventura County.
SLO Sheriff’s Office deployed 16 deputies to assist the Ventura County Sheriff's Office to help with evacuations and maintain road closures in the area. Additionally, Sheriff's shared that the Pismo Beach Police Department was sending two officers, Cuesta College Police Department was sending one and the Cal Poly University Police Department was also sending another.
The Sheriff's Office and other local agencies helped to coordinate resources with other local law enforcement agencies to provide further personnel in responding to the growing Woolsey and Hill wildfires.
The Paso Robles Police Department also assisted with emergency evacuations at the Woolsey Fire. Officers responded along with other agencies on Nov. 8 to assist “Ventura County residents in reaching safety," reported Chief Ty Lewis of the Paso Robles PD on a post.
Paso Robles and the Atascadero Police Department also partnered together and sent an additional officer team the morning of Nov. 9 to provide more help.
"Building partnerships is one of our top values at APD," reads a Facebook post from the Atascadero Police Department. "We partnered with the Paso Robles Police Department to send an APD officer and a PRPD officer down to Ventura County with other SLO County law enforcement agencies to provide some much-needed help at the Woolsey Fire." It continues, "Our ❤ heart goes out to those impacted by this disaster as well as those responding to help."
Atascadero Fire and Emergency Services also sent an engine to the Woolsey Fire on Nov. 9. They are working alongside with Five Cities Fire Authority, Montecito Fire Department, Carpinteria Summerland Firefighters and Vandenberg Fire assigned to protect structures.
On Nov. 10, the Sheriff's Office received another request from State OES to redeploy for mutual aid assistance to Ventura County. The Sheriff's Office along with law enforcement agencies from across San Luis Obispo County are responding to assist with the growing Woolsey and Hill wildfires.
Due to the change of the fire's behavior, a total of 27 law enforcement personnel from the County have now been deployed to assist Ventura County with evacuations in the area. The Sheriff's Office deployed another 17 deputies. Additionally, the Pismo Beach Police Department, San Luis Obispo Police Department, Arroyo Grande Police Department, Cal Poly University Police, and Cuesta College Police are each sending two police officers.
As of Saturday, Nov. 10, the National Weather Service of Los Angeles reports a red flag warning. Santa Ana Winds are expected to remain moderate to strong at 40-50 mph at the coast and valleys and 50-60 mph in the mountains. Combined with the single-digit humidities (5-10 percent) and very dry vegetation can bring extremely critical fire weather conditions through Tuesday, Nov. 13. The report continues that the weather may contribute to the potential for "very rapid fire spread, extreme fire behavior, and long-range spotting."
Cal Fire is reminding the public that in these “current extreme fire conditions throughout the state, don’t wait to evacuate! You should be prepared and go early. If you see a fire approaching, don’t wait to be told to leave.” To learn more about getting prepared and on how to evacuate visit /www.readyforwildfire.org/Go-Evacuation-Guide/.