Woolsey Fire burns homes as it exceeds 10,000 acres, continues to grow at Los Angeles-Ventura County border

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The Woolsey Fire exploded to more than 10,000 acres on Friday in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and fire officials said the relentless blaze is continuing to grow.

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Flames take over hillsides near homes along Mullholland Highway in Malibu Creek State Park.

Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to the two fires, the Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire.

The fast-moving Woolsey Fire jumped the 101 Freeway at Chesebro Road at about 5:15 a.m. and established itself on the south side of freeway, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. The jump forced the freeway to close again in both directions at Liberty Canyon Road as approximately as the fire moved uphill, burning approximately 3 acres, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The blaze started in Simi Valley near the Rocketdyne facility in the Santa Susana Pass. By early Friday morning, the fire had grown to more than 10,000 acres, Ventura County Fire Department Chief Mark Lorenzen said.
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Eyewitness footage from the 101 Freeway shows a brush fire surrounding motorists on the roadway as smoke billows overhead.

"We have hundreds of firefighters here on the fire lines right now, many more on order," Lorenzen said.

The containment stood at 0 percent. Multiple structures were damaged and destroyed, according to Los Angeles Fire Department Public Information Officer Erik Scott.

Among the homes ruined in the blaze, several were in the Oak Park area.

About 75,000 homes were forced to evacuate just for the Woolsey Fire, Scott said. No injuries have been reported.

Ventura County fire officials issued mandatory evacuation orders for several areas. Some of those areas include Saddlebow between Maverick Lane and Morgan Road in Bell Canyon, north of the 101 Freeway, south of Bell Canyon Road, west of Valley Circle, east of the 23 Freeway, north of Kanan Road and west of Lindero Canyon to the 23 Freeway, extending north of Sunset Hills Boulevard and along Erbes Road to Olson Road. The evacuations also include north of Sunset Hills Boulevard, south of Olson Road and west of the 23 Freeway. South of 101 Freeway and north of Mulholland Highway are also included in the evacuation orders, as well as west of Las Virgenes Road and east of Westlake Boulevard. Mandatory evacuations are also in effect in the Malibu Canyon area, Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village.

MORE: Full list of evacuations, road closures in Ventura County fires

Detailed fire and shelter information can be found at www.vcemergency.com.

The destructive flames tore through neighborhoods as wind gusts reached upwards of 30 and 40 mph. Strong winds are expected to diminish between 10 a.m. and noon.

A second fire, dubbed the Hill Fire, burning in the Santa Rosa Valley east of Camarillo, west of Simi Valley near Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, was mere miles from the scene of a deadly mass shooting that claimed 12 lives Wednesday night. Lorenzen said the fire activity in the Hill Fire zone has diminished, allowing more resources to be more focused on the Woolsey Fire.

MORE: Full list of evacuations, road closures in Ventura County fires

Hundreds of Ventura County firefighters and eight air tankers were battling the flames on the ground and from above.

Plumes of thick, white smoke could be seen rising above the burn site as strong Santa Ana winds drove the flames amid red flag conditions.

The cause of the fires remain under investigation.

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