While evacuation orders are lifted for parts of Ventura County, Santa Ana winds begin to pick back up

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While evacuation orders are lifted for parts of Ventura County, Santa Ana winds begin to pick back up

Randy Hay, 22, wears a mask to avoid smoke inhalation. Photo credit: Nathaniel Stephenson

Randy Hay, 22, wears a mask to avoid smoke inhalation. Photo credit: Nathaniel Stephenson

Randy Hay, 22, wears a mask to avoid smoke inhalation. Photo credit: Nathaniel Stephenson

Randy Hay, 22, wears a mask to avoid smoke inhalation. Photo credit: Nathaniel Stephenson

By Karina Peterson and Shannon Holst

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Some Ventura County residents let out a sigh of relief this Saturday evening as evacuation orders were lifted in some areas and firefighters were able to further contain the Hill Fire.

Two people were found dead and thousands more have been forced to flee, as two fast-moving fires continue to ravage Southern California, just miles away from the Borderline bar shooting that left 12 people dead. Areas impacted include the hills of Ventura County and multiple locations off the 101 freeway.

As of Sunday morning, the Hill Fire has burned over 4,500 acres and stands at 70 percent contained. The Woolsey Fire has destroyed 83,000 acres so far, claiming two lives and sending over 200,000 others to local shelters. Both fires have destroyed numerous homes and forced schools and road closures throughout Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

By 6:54 p.m. Saturday Ventura County Emergency Information announced that Camarillo Spring, Dos Vientos, Vallecito Trailer Park, Wood Ranch, Long Canyon, California State University Channel Island and Long Canyon, Bridal Path and Long Canyon in Simi Valley were no longer under evacuation orders.

There are many things to take into consideration during these events including knowledge of appropriate evacuations and air quality.

Mandatory evacuations are still being issued for areas in both Ventura and Los Angeles Counties as thousands of homes are threatened and destroy. Officials urge non-residents to avoid areas impacted to help keep roads open for evacuees.


Exhausted fire crews work hard as multiple fires overcome the Southland. Photo credit: Nathaniel Stephenson

Carson Pasricha, 26, Ventura County native and Thousand Oaks community volunteer, commented on the extent of the evacuations.

“Currently we have one evacuee with us, along with her four cats,” Pasricha said. “The evacuations have been massive. We were over at Shelter Hope in Thousand Oaks trying to help with their animals; they currently have well over 100 animals and they only have the capacity for about 30 on a regular basis plus [and} the air quality is horrendous.”

Alana DiPrima, 23, a resident of Thousand Oaks and student at Moorpark College, said the experience of the fires and the concerns of a change in air quality are overwhelming.

“It’s been really stressful, at night the hills were glowing,” said DiPrima. “I could see flames to the left of me from Moorpark Road. The air quality is okay but the wind shifted so I can see a wall of smoke heading in our direction.”


Malibu's iconic palm trees surrounded by smoke. Photo credit: Jesse Eidsness

The billowing plumes of smoke from the fires can travel for miles, posing significant air pollution and health problems. Residents are advised to remain indoors.

The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) updates the air quality forecast and monitors the agricultural burn status of affected areas within the region.

VCAPCD reports that due to the shift in the offshore winds lingering smoke will be pushed towards the western portion of Venture County and over the ocean. This will provide moderate air quality in places around the city of Ventura, Piru, and Ojai.

“Fire smoke as well as fire debris, such as ash, stirred up from the winds will continue to impact areas in and around Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, and Simi Valley,” stated a VCAPCD smoke advisory update on Nov. 11. “Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive groups in these areas and at times reach unhealthy levels, especially in the Thousand Oaks area.”

The VCAPCD also listed recommendations for those impacted by the fires:

  • Run your air conditioner during this time.
  • Keep housing filtration clean and fresh air intake closed.
  • Close all windows and doors that lead outside to prevent bringing in additional smoke.
  • Individuals with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should remain indoors.
  • If these are not options or it becomes too hot inside, please seek alternate shelter.

Smoke fills the sky as the Hill Fire scorches a hillside in Westlake Village. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

For updates on air quality and forecast please refer to www.vcapcd.org or the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District Twitter (@vcapcd).

Ventura County Fire Department has been listing continuous updates on their social media pages, and while they are currently unavailable to speak to directly due to the impact and demands of the Woolsey and Hill fires they have a hotline available for individuals looking to gather more information.

For more information and continuous updates on evacuations, evacuation shelters, road closures or more please call the hotline at (805) 465-6650, visit www.vceemergency.com or the Ventura County Fire Twitter (@VCFD).

Follow the Student Voice on Twitter for all of the latest fire updates and breaking news.

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