Residents near a 100-acre fire burning along the 101 Freeway in Camarillo should prepare to leave their homes, an official said, but no evacuation orders had been issued as of Thursday morning.
“What we’re telling residents is be prepared to evacuate. There are some homes in the area,” Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Bill Nash said, adding that his was one of them. “Take the time now to get ready in case that order comes.”
An update from the Fire Department warned residents to "gather important documents, medications and other irreplaceable belongings and be ready to evacuate."
Nash said structure protection efforts were in place for the blaze, which began about 6:30 a.m. near hundreds of homes along the Conejo Grade of the freeway. The latest update from the department said the fire had scorched 100 acres and was uncontained.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said at about 9:20 a.m. that the fire was moving toward Newbury Park, and residents in the Dos Vientos area were being advised to prepare to evacuate. The Red Cross had established an evacuation shelter at Calvary Community Chapel in Camarillo, the department said.
More than 200 firefighters were at or on their way to the fire, and additional air resources had been brought in. Nash said fire crews from Ventura County, Cal Fire, and the cities of Ventura and Oxnard were “all on the ground right now trying to get ahead of this thing.”
The Sheriff’s Department said two southbound lanes of freeway were closed along with Old Conejo Road at Reino Road.
Stuart Seto, a specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said humidity had dropped significantly in the area – “from 80% down into the teens, and they’re getting lower.” That, coupled with “extreme” wind gusts, would likely make Thursday “the worst day as far as the fires,” Seto said.
“This is really dry,” he said. “The fire in Camarillo Springs really jumped up from nothing to 100 acres in no time at all.”
The National Weather Service warned of an “extreme” fire danger in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara on Thursday and Friday. A red-flag warning was issued for L.A. and Ventura counties because of a “combination of moderate to strong Santa Ana winds, hot temperatures, very low humidities and unusually dry fuels."
The weather is fanning the Summit fire in Riverside County, which scorched about 3,000 acres since Wednesday afternoon. Two firefighters have been injured and one building damaged in that fire.
Riverside County reported a vegetation fire in Jurupa Valley on Thursday morning that also reportedly burned four structures.
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