Woolsey Fire: Gov. Brown, Secretary Zinke Tour Burn Zone; Hill Fire Now Fully Contained

The Woolsey Fire has burned more than 97,600 acres and destroyed nearly 500 homes, according to the latest estimate from Cal Fire. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

The wildfires sweeping across Southern California have destroyed hundreds of homes, killed at least two people and injured several more, and ravaged beloved landmarks and park space.

Here's the latest on the fires burning in Southern California as of 6:30 p.m. Friday.

WOOLSEY FIRE

California's devastating have garnered national attention, with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke traveling to the state to tour the burn areas of the Camp and Woolsey fires. He started in Northern California Wednesday and worked his way south to Ventura County on Thursday.

At a press conference with Governor Jerry Brown, Zinke and the outgoing state leader demonstrated an unexpected unity across the political aisle.

"It's unsustainable to have this happening year after year and having 100,000-acre fires becoming routine," Zinke said. "This is not a Republican or Democrat issue — this is an American issue, and we should address it as such."

Zinke's primary message was that teamwork would be the best way to handle the devastation left by the wildfires.

"There's no silver bullet to these fires," he said. "The seasons have gotten longer, the temperatures are hotter, we're in the midst of a historic drought."

"This is not the time to point fingers... the solution is working together."

Brown complimented President Donald Trump in the conference as well. And when Zinke was asked to comment on Trump's tweets criticizing California's forest management and suggesting it was one of the causes for the state's devastating wildfires, Brown spoke for him and defended the president.

"There's a lot of statements, a lot of loose rhetoric, but I think we're on the right path right now," he said. "President Trump told me on the telephone yesterday he's completely behind California and getting this recovery underway."

Brown even suggested that improved forest management was among the lessons learned from the wildfires, along with building cities smarter and addressing the issues that come along with climate change.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke met with firefighters in the Santa Monica Mountains on Thursday, Nov. 15, as he and Governor Jerry Brown toured the burn zone of the Woolsey Fire. (Courtesy Ryan Zinke via Twitter)

THIRD DEATH LINKED TO FIRE

A third body was found within the footprint of the fire, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Wednesday.

The body was found by law enforcement officers Tuesday in the 32000 block of Lobo Canyon Road, coroner's office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani told LAist. That area is in the burn zone south of Agoura Hills.

L.A. County Sheriff's Department officials later said deputies had responded to the unincorporated area of Agoura Hills "to check the welfare of a resident who was unaccounted for after the Woolsey Fire destroyed his home."

Search and rescue deputies and investigators with the sheriff's Arson/Explosives Detail arrived to find the home burned down to the foundation. Deputies used a cadaver dog and discovered a body "burned beyond recognition" in the rubble.

Investigators could not say if the victim was the homeowner, who they said lived alone.

The County coroner's office is now investigating to determine the identity and cause of death.

MORE RESIDENTS RETURN HOME

Evacuation orders were lifted for the following unincorporated area of Agoura as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, per the L.A. County Sheriff's Department:

  • Kanan Road from Cornell Road (north) to Malibu View Court (south)
  • Southeast of Kanan Road to include the Saratoga Hills neighborhood
  • Cornell Road from Kanan Road, north of Wagon Road

Evacuation orders were also lifted for some portions of Malibu at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Los Angeles County officials said the following areas can be repopulated:

  • Pacific Coast Highway from Carbon Canyon Road to Webb Way
  • From the ocean to the northern city limit
  • Neighborhoods of Serra Retreat and Sweetwater Mesa

The entire city of Calabasas has also been reopened, according to officials there.

By Friday, most evacuations were lifted, except in some parts of Ventura County.

The wildfire is now one of the largest on record in L.A. County.

An aerial view of devastation in one neighborhood caused by the Woolsey Fire (Courtesy L.A. County Sheriff's Department via Twitter)

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 98,362 acres burned
  • Containment at 78%
  • At least 713 structures destroyed and 201 damaged
  • 3 fire-related deaths confirmed
  • 3 firefighters injured
  • 57,000 structures threatened
  • More than 3,900 firefighting personnel on scene
The burn zone of the Woolsey Fire as of 7 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14. (Via KPCC Fire Tracker)

FULL COVERAGE


HILL FIRE

The Hill Fire burn zone as of Nov. 14, 2018.

Firefighters wrapped up their work on the Hill Fire Friday morning, which was held to 4,531 acres and is now fully contained Thursday, according to the latest update from Cal Fire.

Four structures have been destroyed and no deaths or injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

All evacuation orders have been lifted.

SIERRA FIRE

A new fire broke out in Fontana Tuesday night, growing rapidly due to strong Santa Ana winds.

San Bernardino County firefighters made "good progress" on the fire overnight, reporting Wednesday that the blaze had burned 147 acres and was 85 percent contained.

"Crews will remain on scene today reinforcing containment lines, mopping up hot spots through the interior, and monitoring the wind conditions," fire officials said in a tweet.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

For the latest information straight from local emergency officials, including evacuation orders, road closures, evacuation centers and animal shelters, check the following sites and social media accounts:

Ryan Fonseca and Brian Frank contributed to this story.

UPDATES:

Friday

6:57 p.m.: Updated with the latest numbers from Cal Fire.

7:06 a.m.: Updated with latest figures from Cal Fire.

Thursday

7:33 p.m.: Updated with latest containment figure on Woolsey Fire.

3:30 p.m.: Updated with information on visit by Gov. Jerry Brown, Secretary Zinke.

7:30 a.m.: Updated with information from LASD about fire-related death in unincorporated Agoura Hills.

7:15 a.m.: Updated with latest acreage and containment on Woolsey and Hill fires.

Wednesday

6:49 p.m.: Updated with new containment figure on Hill Fire.

6:27 p.m.: Updated with new containment figures on Woolsey and Sierra fires.

4:32 p.m.: Added new repopulation for Agoura.

2:15 p.m.: This article was updated with the latest repopulation announcements.

9:45 a.m.: This article was updated with information about a third body found in the burn zone.

This article was originally published at 7:35 a.m. Wednesday.


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