Wildfires in California causing death and destruction

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 11/12/2018

The wildfire situation in California dramatically worsened over the weekend, with the Camp Fire in Butte County becoming both the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history. In addition to the death and destruction caused by the wildfires, more road closures and evacuations are in effect for the region.

Camp Fire
The Camp Fire in Butte County has burned 113,000 acres and is at 25 percent containment as of Monday morning. Full containment is not expected until Nov. 30.

In addition to the 29 civilian fatalities, three firefighters have been injured. The fire is tied for deadliest wildfire in California. The Griffith Park fire in Los Angeles County in October 1933 also claimed 29 lives despite burning only 47 acres.

More than 6,000 single residences have been destroyed. An additional 15,500 structured remain under threat. The Camp Fire is the most destructive fire in California history, surpassing last year’s Tubbs Fire in Napa and Sonoma Counties that destroyed 5,636 structures.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) is reporting numerous road closures, including several state routes. Highways affected include Route 70, Route 149, Route 32 and Route 162. Motorists should check Caltrans’ QuickMap for live updates.

Woolsey Fire
Further south in Ventura County, the Woolsey Fire has scorched more than 91,000 acres with only 20 percent contained near Thousand Oaks. Fire officials estimate full containment on Nov. 15. On Monday morning, two additional fire starts occurred in the area.

As of Monday afternoon, two people were killed due to the fire, with three firefighters injured. Nearly 400 structures have been destroyed, two damaged and an additional 57,000 are under threat. However, only 15 percent of the damage inspection has been completed as crews focus on containment and preserving lives and property.

Like the Camp Fire, Cal Fire is reporting many road closures. Although most are artery streets, the 118 freeway is closed in both directions between Yosemite and Topanga Canyon Boulevard. The 101 freeway is now open. However, all off ramps from Valley Circle Boulevard to Liberty Canyon Road will remain closed until further notice.

Hill Fire
Just west of the Woolsey Fire, another fire is burning in Ventura County. The Hill Fire, near Eastern Camarillo Newbury Park, has burned more than 4,500 acres and is nearly contained at 80 percent. Full containment is expected by the end of the week.

Smaller in scope than the other two fires, no injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the Hill Fire. Only two structured have been destroyed and two more damaged. No more structures are considered threatened at this point.

Not too far away from the Woolsey Fire, many of the same road closures apply to areas affected by the Hill Fire, including the Highway 101 off ramp closures. Additionally, Highway 1 southbound (Pacific Coast Highway) is closed at Las Posas Road. Several other smaller roads are also closed in the area.



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