Easy Fire: More Than 1,700 Acres Burned; All Evacuation Orders Lifted
Note: This story is no longer being updated. See the additional resources below and check LAist in the morning for the latest information.
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.
- Acres burned: 1,723
- Containment: 10%
- Injuries: 3 firefighters
- Structures threatened: 7,000 homes
- Structures destroyed: 2
- Resources deployed: More than 700 firefighters
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.
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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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.
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
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 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.
For the latest information straight from local emergency officials, check the following websites and social media accounts:
- Every Day Is Fire Season. Here's How Angelenos Can Prepare Right Now
- How To Find Out About Fire Evacuations In Your Area
- How To Keep Yourself Safe From Wildfire Smoke
- The Air Is Brown -- Should I Wear A Mask?
- This Is Why Fire Officials Don't Want You To Stay And Defend Your Home
- What Does 'Containment' Of A Fire Mean, Exactly?
- What Does A 'Red Flag Warning' Mean, Exactly?
- What To Do -- And Not Do -- When You Get Home After A Wildfire
- How To Avoid Getting Towed During LA's Red Flag Parking Restrictions
- If You Want To Help Fire Victims, Resist The Urge To Volunteer
NOTE: This developing story will be updated frequently.
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