The CA fires spread to the Ojai Valley, threatening the lives and homes of 20,000 residents. See photos of the devastation.
More than 100,000 acres have already burned in Southern California, where multiple, uncontrolled fires continue to rage in the Los Angeles area. The beautiful mountain city of Ojai is the latest area to be threatened by the flames. Authorities ordered evacuations for the 20,000 residents in the Ojai Valley, located about 20 miles away from Ventura, where the Thomas fire first broke out, and about 80 miles from the Getty Museum, where the worst of the Skirball Fire continues to burn. Now, thousands of people are displaced in Ojai as their lives and homes are threatened by the flames. Residents in nearby communities have been warned by authorities to be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice as the fires continue to rage. The photos taken of the current situation in Ojai are devastating — see them in the gallery above.
Firefighters throughout Southern California are still struggling to contain the multiple fires throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Strong, dry Santa Ana winds are blowing the flames and growing the fires by the hour. Authorities want to tell Ojai residents that their homes will be fine, but they honestly don’t know at this point. “I’ve been telling people, ‘If you can get your loved ones and valuables to a safe place, you should,’” Ojai City Manager Steve McClary told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s a tough answer to give. I wish I could be more specific. But this is no time for false promises.”
In Ojai, authorities are handing out flyers printed with hotline numbers and computer links that offer current information about evacuation orders, and more. However, communication is rough right now, and tensions are high. The small mountain community is only accessed by two-lane country roads, and 20,000 residents are trying to leave. It’s going to be more difficult for the residents to find somewhere safe to go. Nearby Ventura is still up in flames, and the fires are growing in Los Angeles.
HollywoodLifers, our thoughts are with those in California. If you’re in SoCal right now, please stay safe!