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Video: Tourists Drive Through 'Terrifying' Fire On PCH
A video taken by tourists shows a scary encounter with the Solimar fire that raged in Ventura County on Christmas night.
The video, by Maaike Maks, was shot as Maks and her family drove north on PCH back to her family's vacation home in Santa Barbara. It was around 11 p.m. on Friday when they drove past the fire, on their way back from the game between the Lakers and Clippers at the Staples Center. At first the red glow of the flames can be seen over a nearby ridge, but as they keep driving, the flames get precariously close to the roadway and soon the family is driving through a rain of embers.
"All these sparks and a burning bush hit our car, and we couldn't see anything of what was around us because of all the smoke," Maks told CNN. "I was terrified and in a total shock. In the end, it only took a few seconds, but it felt like an hour."
"It was terrifying. We were very lucky. In a worst-case scenario, our car could have exploded."
Another video, taken by Instagram user @austincurtis, shows the fire from a safer distance on PCH:
While the fire—which was started by downed power lines—grew to over 1,200 acres, firefighters seem to have the upper hand at this point. While PCH was temporarily closed on Saturday, it was reopened early by 2 p.m. on Saturday, and evacuation orders were lifted a few hours later. Ventura County fire officials told KPCC that a full containment was expected by 5 p.m., Monday evening.