Maria Fire Erupts Thursday Night Atop South Mountain Near Santa Paula, California


Evacuations were ordered after a brush fire erupted near Santa Paula Thursday evening.

The Maria Fire, named by firefighters, was reported about 6:15 p.m. Thursday October 31, 2019 atop South Mountain just south of Santa Paula, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. The brush fire rapidly expanded from 150 acres to 750 acres to 4,000 acres.

Helicopters were making water drops, and fire engines were staging for structure fire defense. The fire was spreading rapidly on west side, and was spreading slowly on the Santa Paula side. A personal drone may have delayed helicopter operations for a short period of time.

The fire was located about 47 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Winds were northeast 15-25 MPH with humidity 10 percent or less. Humidity is forecast to be as low at 3 percent Friday around dawn.

“Precautionary” evacuations were issued west of Balcom Canyon Road, north of the 118 Freeway, according to fire officials. Residents in ranches near Somis were also asked to evacuate.

The blaze, which has been dubbed the Maria fire, broke out atop South Mountain, just south of Santa Paula, about 6:15 p.m. and quickly exploded to 4,000 acres, the Ventura County Fire Department said. Evacuation orders were issued to about 7,500 residents and about 250 firefighters were at the scene.

FAST-MOVING FIRE: The Maria Fire quickly grew in Santa Paula, CA (AUDIO goes quiet during helicopter video).



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