Evacuations remain for Malibu, 2 found dead as Woolsey Fire threatens tens of thousands of structures
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
November 12, 2018, 11:39:04 AM EST
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Two people were found dead and more than 200,000 residents remain under mandatory evacuation as the Woolsey Fire rages in Southern California.
The Woolsey Fire flared up south of Simi Valley on Thursday afternoon and rapidly spread on Thursday night. It has since burned over 85,000 acres and is 15 percent contained.
The fire has charred more than 170 structures and poses a threat to 57,000 other structures.
The Hill Fire, another fire in Southern California, has charred more than 4,500 acres with 75 percent containment as of Sunday evening. The fire is burning in the same area as the Springs Fire from 2013, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
Two people have been found dead in the fire zone, according to the Associated Press. Sheriff detectives are investigating the deaths.
"While the start of the weekend brought a lull in the winds and a false sense of security that the worst of the firestorm had passed, a multi-day Santa Ana wind event threatens to make the already dangerous situation more dire early this week," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Photo/Ventura County Fire Department
(Twitter photo/LA County Fire PIO)
(AP Photo/Kathleen Ronayne)
Instagram photo/@chrisamyfj60odyssey/Chris Manella and Amy Mabe
Instagram/LA City Fire
(AP Photo/Reed Saxton)
Ringo H.W. Chiu
"Residents should not return home until evacuation orders are lifted, and those elsewhere in wind-prone areas of Southern California need to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice if another fire erupts and rapidly spreads," Pydynowski said.
"It may look safe enough to go back and check on your home, but don't do it," Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby said. "The potential dangers you may encounter could cost you your life. We will let you know when it's safe to go home."
Roughly 25,000 customers are without power in Southern California, and the majority of the outages are in Los Angeles County, according to Southern California Edison. Crews were granted access to the affected areas to work to restore power on Sunday.
A state of emergency was declared in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties on Friday afternoon due to the fires burning in Southern California. On Friday, President Donald Trump approved California's Emergency Declaration, allowing federal assistance to be open to the state.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered for Thousand Oaks and part of the Los Angeles city limits.
Evacuation orders HAVE NOT been lifted for the 75,000 Los Angeles County homes within the Woolsey Fire Evacuation Area. Those displaced by the wildfire are strongly advised not to return to the area until first responders declare the area safe. #WoolseyFire pic.twitter.com/Hy2lsPyiSv— LA County Sheriff's (@LASDHQ) November 11, 2018
On Friday morning, officials issued a mandatory evacuation for all of Malibu, all areas south of the 101 Freeway from Ventura County to Las Virgenes and Malibu Canyon.
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The blaze burned around Pepperdine University. No permanent structures have been lost, and a shelter-in-place protocol was put in place for all individuals on campus, according to the university.
On Saturday morning, Pepperdine lifted its shelter-in-place order once flames on hillsides near campus were extinguished. The University community is safe and individuals are free to move about the campus.
The Malibu and Calabasas campuses of Pepperdine are among the universities that remain closed through Tuesday. Shelter locations have opened up throughout the area for evacuees.
The Los Angeles Police Department said on Twitter that they are on a citywide tactical alert to ensure all resources are available to assist in evacuation orders and road closures due to the Woolsey Fire.
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All southbound lanes of the 101 Freeway from Reyes Adobe Road to Valley Circle were opened on Sunday night after being closed for several days, according to the California Department of Transportation.
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