The Ventura County wildfire has so far destroyed multiple residences and forced thousands of its residents to flee the city. The wind-fueled and fast-moving fire also burned about 25,000 acres. Wind speeds have reached 50 mph.
The blaze has its origins near Santa Paula's Thomas Aquinas College, in the foothills. This place is popular among hikers. The fire then spread rapidly and encompassed 15 square miles in the following hours. The local vegetation was consumed by the fire, which increasingly grew fiercer. Authorities swiftly evacuated homes located to the east of the Dickenson Road and along the north of the Monte Vista Drive bordering Highway 150. People were seen to pack their belongings and move away until north of Ventura's Foothill Road. The area beside the college located in Santa Paula also witnessed the rapid evacuation of residents. Most residents packed only their important documents and clothing among other essentials. Evacuation centers were set up at the Nordhoff High School and Ventura County Fairgrounds.
This destruction comes at the fag end of 2017 – a year which could be described as one of the worst ones in Californian history. About 40 people died in October when fires blazed across the northern part of California. The fire damaged about 10,000 structures.
Authorities have warned that the fire still cannot be controlled and structures remain vulnerable to collapse. The intensity of the fire has made the work of safety crews harder, especially to get access to areas. This is as multiple structures are on fire. The quantum of losses remains to be calculated. Mark Lorenzen, the Fire Chief of Ventura County, was pessimistic about fire control. He admitted that there is a slim chance that the fire could be stopped from spreading. The outcome depends upon nature. Officials of the fire department have expressed fear that the flames will go through about 50,000 acres between the cities of Ventura and Santa Paula.
Approximately 500 firefighters battled the blaze which went towards Highway 33 and Ventura. Water dropping helicopters and fixed wing aircraft are deployed. A number of spot fires also sprang up due to difficult conditions.
A number of houses in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties suffered a power outage. A spokesperson for Southern California Edison, the power providing company, said that the company cannot provide the time when the power will be restored.