UPDATED: Fires Blazing, Red Flag Warnings Issued Across Southern California
UPDATE | 2:00 p.m
The Pacific Coast Highway is being closed between Las Posas Rd. and the Ventura/LA county line.
The Ventura County Fire Department reports that the fire which started near Camarillo Springs this morning has grown to 6,500 acres and continues to grow.
Evacuations have been ordered at Cal State University Channels Islands.
ORIGINAL STORY | 10:30 a.m. The Ventura Fire Department issued mandatory evacuations for Camarillo Springs, the Dos Vientos area and the Cal State Channel Island Thursday, following a brush fire that erupted in Ventura County.
The 2,000-acre fire started around 6:30 Thursday morning in Camarillo, north of the 101 Freeway, and spread to Newbury Park within hours. California Highway Patrol warned it could reach the Pacific Coast Highway by early afternoon.
The National Weather Service issued "Red Flag" warnings for low humidity and gusty winds, which are known to increase wildfire risks. The Conejo Valley Unified School District also canceled school and all after-school activities for the remainder of the day.
The following locations wer under advisory, as of 12:45 p.m. Thursday:
- Los Angeles and Ventura counties, excluding the San Gabriel Valley
- Santa Monica Mountains
- Ventura County and Los Angeles County coasts
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded by issuing Red Flag Restricted Parking from 8 p.m. on Thursday until at least 8 a.m. Friday for "all hillside areas" in fire prone locations.
"What we're telling residents is be prepared to evacuate," said Bill Nash, a Ventura County Fire Department spokesman.
"There are some homes in the area."
Nash said more than 200 firefighters were dispatched to Ventura County.
Stuart Seto, a specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said humidity in the Ventura County area had dropped from "80 percent down into the teens" prior to the start of the fire, and would continue decreasing throughout Thursday.
According to Seto, low humidity combined with extreme winds could make Thursday "the worst day, as far as the fires."