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Ventura County Brush Fire Burns 1,200 Acres, Closing Part Of PCH

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A brush fire in Ventura County has prompted evacuations and the closing of the 101 Freeway in both directions this morning.

ABC-7 reports the fire started around 10:30 p.m. Friday, and burned about 100 acres in the 3000 block of West Pacific Coast Highway by Solimar Beach, just north of Ventura. Local fire officials said the flames could be seen 150 feet from the sand, and that the fire burned hillsides near the beach, and is threatening nearby oil, gas, and power sources, as well as railroads.

According to the Associated Press, mandatory evacuations were imposed around 2 a.m. for the neighborhood around the fire. Evacuees of the 35 homes that were threatened were told to leave using northern routes. Campers at the Emma Wood State Park were also forced to evacuate. Faria Beach Park campground was under a voluntary evacuation.

More than 600 firefighters from various agencies were working on the blaze, which was 10% contained as of 9:30 a.m.

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If you'll be driving through this area this morning, be forewarned: the detours caused by the 101 closure could cause for some nasty traffic. The 101 Freeway is shut down in both directions, starting from the northbound entrance at State Route 33 and southbound at Bates Road. Ojai residents should use caution while traveling near Highway 150 between Oak View and Carpinteria due to heavy traffic caused by the closures.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Here's a scary video of the fire, taken by a woman who was evacuated from Emma Wood State Park this morning:

just got evacuated from emma woods very scary live embers everywhere

Posted by Jayne Lindstrom-Johnson on Saturday, December 26, 2015