405 Freeway shut down between the 10 and 101
Parts of Ventura and Los Angeles counties are literally ablaze, and have forced mass evacuations and freeway shutdowns.
Officials on Wednesday said the fast-moving fire in the city of Ventura is still burning out of control and has now moved to the Pacific Ocean. On Tuesday, fire fighters reported that the wildfire has jumped Highway 33, and burned through oil fields before crossing the 101 Freeway into Solimar Beach. Their focus is on preventing the fire from moving into the Ojai Valley.
At least 150 homes and a hospital have been destroyed. But according to the Los Angeles Times, Cal Fire suspects the true number is hundreds more; firefighters just haven’t been able to get into areas to know for sure.
As flames in Ventura continue to wreak havoc, another fire has broken out in the pricey Bel-Air area of Los Angeles, near the Getty Center. Portions of the 405 Freeway have been shut down. Fire officials say dry brush and a lack of rain are partially to blame for both fires.
On Tuesday evening, authorities widened evacuation zones and announced dozens of school closures in Ventura and Conejo Valley.
On Wednesday morning, residents in Bel-Air rushed out of their homes in front of the Skirball fire, which was estimated to cover about 50 acres and was being fueled by 25 mph winds and is likely to grow.
Mandatory evacuation was ordered on all homes between Mulholland Drive on the north, Sunset Boulevard on the south, Roscomare Road on the east and the 405 Freeway on the west. Evacuations were also ordered along Casiano Road, Moraga Drive and Linda Flora Drive.
Early Wednesday, Cal Trans announced the full closure of the 405 Freeway between the 101 and 10 freeways. It has also closed all onramps to the 405.
Schools were closed in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School and part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, which include: Roscomare Road Elementary, Community Elementary Magnet Charter School and Kenter Canyon Elementary School.