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12 nov. 2018 | 00h45 UTC

US: Southern California fires kill two as winds feed flames Nov. 11 /update 3

United States of America Alerte de sécurité

Southern California’s Woolsey and Hill fires kill two people as of November 11; forecast Santa Ana winds raise likelihood of blazes spreading further

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/11/2018, 12h00 until 16/11/2018, 11h59 (America/Los_Angeles). COUNTRY/REGION Malibu (California), Ventura County, Los Angeles

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Event

Twin fires burning in southern California's Ventura and Los Angeles counties killed two people as of Sunday afternoon (local time), November 11. The so-called Hill and Woolsey fires started near Thousand Oaks before spreading south, across US-101 and toward the shore. The larger Woolsey Fire has burned areas of Malibu West, Malibou Lake, and Point Dume and authorities are warning residents of southern Malibu, including Topanga and Pacific Palisades, to evacuate immediately. Strong Santa Ana winds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph) are forecast to blow across the region overnight, contributing to fears that the fires will continue to spread. Fire authorities estimate that 57,000 structures are threatened by the active fires.

The brushfires have caused continuous road closures in the area: US-101 and the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) remain closed in both directions. US-101 is closed from Valley Circle to Reyes Adobe Road. The Pacific Coast Highway is closed from Sunset Boulevard to Point Dume with southbound lane closures extending to Point Magu Naval Air Station. Extensive closures on minor roads in the area remain in effect.

The Hill and Woolsey fires have burned 1830 hectares (4530 acres) and 33,700 hectares (83,275 acres), respectively, and are 70 percent and 10 percent contained. An estimated 275,000 people have evacuated from the area.

Context

The Woolsey and Hill fires both started in the afternoon (local time) of November 8 near Thousand Oaks, north of US-101. Wildfires and brush fires are common in California from May through November.

Advice

Individuals in the affected areas are advised to exercise caution when traveling in areas near the wildfires, adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. road closures, evacuation notices), and closely monitor the situation. Children and those with respiratory illnesses are advised to limit outdoor activity.

 

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