Woolsey Fire: Strong winds return to burn area as containment increases to 10 percent

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Hundreds of firefighters continued to battle a vegetation fire that has killed two people and consumed more than 83,000 acres near the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Hundreds of firefighters on Sunday continued to battle a relentless vegetation fire that has killed two people and consumed 83,275 acres near the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Three firefighters have been hurt in the incident, a Cal Fire spokesperson said. Their conditions and the nature of the injuries were not immediately available.

Personnel from multiple agencies took advantage of a lull in wind conditions overnight Saturday as they attempted to make progress against the so-called Woolsey Fire, but low humidity and the return of strong Santa Ana winds had homeowners and fire officials on edge.

According to Cal Fire, 177 structures have been destroyed in the blaze, which erupted along with the nearby Hill Fire on Thursday evening and ultimately prompted the evacuation of some 265,000 residents -- 95,000 in Ventura County and 170,000 in Los Angeles County.

The evacuation area included the entire city of Malibu and Calabasas, with Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West and Martin Sheen among the celebrities forced to abandon their homes.

But parts of Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village had mandatory evacuations lifted by 9 p.m.

The 101 Freeway, which had been shut down for days, was also reopened.

Fifty-seven thousand structures remained threatened by the fire, whose containment increased to 15 percent.

With the winds returning, it's likely more homes would be lost, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby warned. "There's not going to be any relief in this firefight," he said.

By late Friday night, the smaller Hill Fire's advance had halted, but the Woolsey fire kept surging. The two fires erupted Thursday afternoon as warnings of extreme fire danger covered much of the state because of dry weather and blowing winds.

In Northern California's Butte County, the Camp Fire killed some in their cars as they tried to flee the racing flames. The state's most destructive fire in at least a century has burned down more than 6,700 buildings, almost all of them homes.

MORE: How to help victims of Woolsey, Hill fires

President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration providing federal funding to help firefighters battling the wildfires across California.

The Woolsey Fire marched from Thousand Oaks south through the northwestern San Fernando Valley and toward the Pacific Ocean.

Thousand Oaks was already reeling from a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill that killed a dozen victims this week when it was besieged by fire. It raged on both sides of the city and shut down a stretch of the 101 Freeway in both directions.

"It's devastating. It's like 'welcome to hell,'" resident Cynthia Ball said about the dual disasters outside a teen center serving as a shelter for evacuees. "I don't even know what to say. It's like we're all walking around kind of in a trance."

MORE: Fire claims multiple structures, vehicles at mobile home park in Westlake Village
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The Woolsey Fire claimed several structures and vehicles at a mobile home park in Westlake Village.


Three-quarters of the city of 130,000 was under evacuation orders -- and that likely included people affected by the shooting, Mayor Andy Fox said.

Meanwhile, Pepperdine University announced its Malibu and Calabasas campuses will remain closed through the Thanksgiving holiday period.

Authorities said a town hall meeting will be held at Taft High School in Woodland Hills at 5 p.m. for people who've been impacted by the fires to get more information.

The causes of the fires remain under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
brush firefirefighterscal fireevacuationWoolsey FireVentura CountyLos Angeles CountyMalibuThousand Oaks
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