Containment of 146-Square-Mile Woolsey Fire Reaches 30 Percent

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The firefight against the destructive and deadly Woolsey Fire is in its fifth day Monday as officials keep one eye focused on the constantly changing weather conditions.

The fire had grown in size Monday to 93,662 acres – just over 146 square miles – and containment had increased to 30 percent, Cal Fire reported Monday evening.

Favorable overnight weather conditions contributed to the fire’s minimal growth, Cal Fire stated. More than 3,200 firefighters are working to contain the fire.

Winds remained relatively calm early Monday as Sky 5 was over a morning flare up in Malibu Canyon.

Gusts are expected to pick up through the morning hours, reaching between 30 and 50 mph, before tapering off again around noon. A red flag warning for the region is in place until Tuesday evening.

Officials placed the entire city of Calabasas under an evacuation order Sunday evening and thousands of people remained under evacuation orders in the Los Angeles County areas of Malibu, Hidden Hills, and the communities of West Hills, Monte Nido, Gated Oaks and Topanga.

Bell Canyon and the area south of Potrero Road in Ventura County also remain under evacuation orders.

Evacuations had been lifted for the communities of Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park and Oak Park, and though those areas were starting to be repopulated Monday, authorities asked residents to be careful and patient when returning home.

“Safety is paramount,” California Highway Patrol Lt. Kevin Kurker said.

During a morning news conference Monday morning, officials again emphasized the importance of heeding evacuation orders, and to be cautious when returning to their homes once those orders are lifted.

“These are extreme conditions,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby said.  “If there is a fire in your neighborhood, don’t wait for an evacuation order, leave.”

Related: Full list of mandatory evacuations and school closures here.

The fire is being blamed for the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in a vehicle in the 33000 block of Mulholland Highway. Three firefighters, whose conditions were unknown, have been injured in the blaze.

Osby said that while any loss is tragic, he was “proud” of firefighters efforts to save lives.

About 435 structures have been destroyed, and another 24 damages, according to Cal Fire. Officials said most of those were burned during the first 24 to 36 hours. Another 57,000 structures remain threatened Monday.

Fire officials are forecasting full containment of the blaze by Nov. 17, but anticipate total mop up could take up to two weeks.

No official cause of the fire — which began on Nov. 8 on the Santa Susana Field Lab property east of Simi Valley — has been determined.

Southern California Edison has stated that an electrical circuit went down in the same area about 2 minutes before the fire was reported. The company said they reported the incident out of an abundance of caution.

A second fire burning in Southern California, the Hill Fire, appears to be mostly under control. The 4,531 acre blaze was 80 percent contained Monday morning.

Two structures were destroyed in the fire, but no injuries were reported.

Two additional brush fires broke out in Ventura County while firefighters were battling Woolsey. A blaze along the 118 Freeway in Simi Valley has scorched about 20 acres and promoted the shutdown of the roadway at Topanga Canyon and for eastbound traffic at Yosemite Avenue. Another blaze was burning in the Lynn Ranch area of Thousand Oaks.

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