Easy Fire: More Than 1,700 Acres Burned; All Evacuation Orders Lifted

Firefighters put out hot spots along Highway 23, closed to traffic due to the Easy Fire, on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Simi Valley. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Note: This story is no longer being updated. See the additional resources below and check LAist in the morning for the latest information.


Jump to: Evacuations | Closures | Weather Conditions | Air Quality | Additional Resources


An "extreme red flag warning" is still in effect Thursday as firefighters work to get a handle on a wildfire that broke out in Ventura County Wednesday morning.

The Easy Fire has burned more than 1,700 acres and initally forced thousands in Simi Valley, Moorpark and Thousand Oaks to leave their homes, though all evacuation orders had been lifted by about 10:15 a.m. Thursday. Containment was at 10%, Ventura County fire officials said Thursday morning.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that his office had secured a federal grant through FEMA to assist local and regional agencies responding to the fire. Newsom had earlier declared a statewide emergency as volatile winds fueled several major fires across the state.

THE BASICS

  • Acres burned: 1,723
  • Containment: 10%
  • Injuries: 3 firefighters
  • Structures threatened: 7,000 homes
  • Structures destroyed: 2
  • Resources deployed: More than 700 firefighters
Firefighters battle to protect area around the Reagan Library from the Easy Fire in Simi Valley on Oct. 30, 2019. (Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The fire broke out amid an "extreme red flag warning" as strong Santa Ana winds and dry conditions created a critical risk for similar fires in Southern California through 6 p.m. Thursday.

Though the winds had weakened in much of the region Thursday, the National Weather Service extended the red flag warning through 6 p.m. Friday.


RELATED: California Fires Are Getting Worse. What's Going On?


EVACUATIONS

All mandatory evacuation orders were lifted shortly after 10:15 a.m. Thursday, according to VCFD officials. All evacuation centers were closed as of 12:40 p.m.


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ROAD CLOSURES

All effected roadways have been reopened. The only restriction in place is for Tierra Rejada Road, which is open to residents only from Highway 23 to Mandan Place until 2 p.m., Ventura County officials said.

SCHOOL CLOSURES

The following Ventura County K-12 public schools will be closed Thursday:

  • ACE Charter High School (Camarillo)
  • Briggs School District
  • Conejo Valley Unified School District
  • Fillmore Unified School District
  • Hueneme Elementary School District
  • Mesa Union School District
  • Moorpark Unified School District
  • Mupu School District
  • Oak Park Unified School District
  • Ocean View School District
  • Oxnard Union High School District
  • Pleasant Valley School District
  • Rio School District
  • Santa Clara Elementary School District
  • Santa Paula Unified School District
  • Simi Valley Unified School District

Additionally, all schools operated by the Ventura County Office of Education will be closed Thursday, with the exception of Ojai TEAMS and Providence School.

The following colleges are also closed Thursday:

  • Cal Lutheran University: Thousand Oaks campus and Oxnard, Westlake and Woodland Hills centers
  • Cal State Channel Islands
  • Moorpark College
  • Ventura College East Campus in Santa Paula

AIR QUALITY

A woman and children brace themselves from strong winds and smoke near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley as the Easy Fire burns on Oct. 30, 2019. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District has issued an air quality alert for due to the smoke and dust being carried through the region. The communities of Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park are most directly affected and the alert is in effect until noon today.

"If you are in an area directly impacted by smoke or dust, please exercise extreme caution and avoid vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion," district officials said, adding that the elderly, children, and people with people with respiratory or heart issues should remain indoors.

For the latest air quality information for the region, check the APCD website.

THE BACKGROUND

The Easy Fire was reported just before 6:10 a.m. Wednesday, south of the 118 Freeway near Madera and Easy streets in the city of Simi Valley. Flames spread rapidly west toward the 23 Freeway and south toward Thousand Oaks. At one point, the fire jumped the 23 Freeway, but crews were able to knock that spot down and stop it from spreading west. Officials said the fire burned completely around the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it likely started near a power line owned by Southern California Edison. The utility filed a report with state regulators on Wednesday stating that the fire was sparked near a sub-transmission that was energized, according to the Associated Press, which cited Edison spokeswoman Caroline Aoyagi.

HOW WE'RE REPORTING ON THIS

Digital producer Ryan Fonseca is keeping this story updated. Additional research and reporting is being done by KPCC newscast producers.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For the latest information straight from local emergency officials, check the following websites and social media accounts:

FIRE RESOURCES

NOTE: This developing story will be updated frequently.

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