California fire update – blaze reaches Pacific Ocean

US media have reported that the rapidly moving fire in Southern California has managed to jump the main coastal highway and has now reached the Pacific Ocean, with firefighters still tackling the blaze.

The fire has been truly devastating as its ploughed through Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, and has triggered evacuation orders for over 150,000 people, while 150 buildings have been left damaged.

In addition, authorities are claiming that there are at least 12,000 structures that remain threatened by the blaze, while strong winds are set to further hamper efforts to try and extinguish the fire.

Robert Welsbie, a spokesman for the Ventura fire department, is under no illusions as to the challenge they face.

“We are still in the middle of an aggressive and active firefight on the ground,” Welsbie said.
“If the winds pick up, we will face quite a challenge.”
Fire officials provided an update on the situation and claimed that 250,000 homes are currently without power, while there is a growing feeling that many buildings will be destroyed.
On the 6th December, it was revealed that the fire had managed to cross Highway 101 and make its way to the Solimar Beach area. Currently, the roads remain open there, however local officials have told motorists to take extra care.
Over 1000 firefighters have been tackling the fires in the cities of Santa Paula and Venture, both of which are 70 miles (115km) north of Los Angeles.
Emergency workers who were going house to house gave the residents of Venture and Santa Paula mandatory evacuation notices, while they also received this from their phones.
So far, the fire has ripped through 55,000 acres (22,000 hectares) and continues to be fanned by the Santa Ana winds, while the low humidity is also playing a big part.
Wind are set to remain strong throughout the week, and even reached 70mph (115km/h) on the 6th December.

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