The 118 Freeway in Simi Valley reopened Monday afternoon as crews contained a 118-acre blaze in Simi Valley, one of two new fires that erupted as firefighters continued to battle the Hill and Woolsey fires nearby.
The first blaze broke out along Lynn Road in the Newbury Park area around 10 a.m. It burned less than 5 acres, with ground and aerial units already in the area managing to remove the initial threat to homes, according to Ventura County fire.
Some 100 firefighters responded to the scene, and the flames were contained as of 1:20 p.m.
Five minutes after that fire ignited however, another brush fire started south of the 118 Freeway near the Rocky Peak Road in Simi Valley.
Cal Fire said crews fully contained the flames by 4:30 p.m. It scorched about 186 acres, the agency said.
The blaze, dubbed the Peak Fire, burned northeast outside the evacuation perimeter for the Woolsey Fire, a map on the Ventura County emergency website indicates.
Officials quickly shut down the eastbound lanes of the 118 at Yosemite Avenue and the westbound lanes at Topanga Canyon, according California Highway Patrol. CHP also closed Santa Susana Pass and Box Canyon.
Heavy smoke that blanketed the area near the 118 appeared to have mostly cleared by 1 p.m., Sky5 footage shows.
Just before 4 p.m., the Simi Valley Police Department said the entire freeway as well as the roads that had been block have been reopened.
Earlier, the L.A. Sheriff’s Department said an immediate evacuation order was issued for the Box Canyon and Lake Manor communities. In Ventura County, fire officials said no mandatory evacuation orders were in place and those near the fire were asked to shelter in place on Kuehner Drive.
The Peak Fire threatened structures, Ventura County fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said, prompting a “full response” from Ventura County and L.A. city and county fire departments.
“That’s probably our fire with the most potential right now,” Lorenzen said at a news conference Monday morning.
The new fires erupted as crews attempted to get an upper hand on the massive Woolsey Fire, which started east of Simi Valley on Thursday and moved toward the ocean in L.A. County. It claimed two lives in Malibu on Friday, and has burned more than 143 square miles, officials said.
That fire was about 20 percent contained as of Monday morning.
Meanwhile, the Hill Fire in Santa Rosa Valley appeared to be mostly under control at 4,531 acres and 80 percent containment.
Northeast winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph were expected to persist in Simi Valley Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Relative humidity could drop as low as 6 percent.
A red flag warning remained in effect for Ventura and L.A. counties through Tuesday.
— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) November 12, 2018