At least two wind-whipped wildfires exploded early Tuesday in Southern California, forcing more than 27,000 people to evacuate and causing at least one death.
Ventura County Fire officials said the larger blaze, known as the “Thomas Fire,” broke out Monday evening east of Santa Paula, located about 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The fire has grown to 31,000 acres and has destroyed 150 structures, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
“The prospects for containment are not good,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said at a news conference. “Really, Mother Nature is going to decide when we have the ability to put it out because it is pushing hard with the wind.”
Officials said one person had died in an auto accident related to the fire, but did not give any details. An injury to a firefighter has also been reported, according to officials.
There is zero percent containment of the fire, officials said at a Monday night press conference. A total of 1,000 firefighters are battling the fire, and power outages have been reported in Santa Paula, Camarillo, Ventura and Santa Barbara.
Southern California Edison said nearly 180,000 customers in the Ventura County area were without service.
entura County Fire Public Information Officer Rick Macklin told Fox News around 8,700 homes have been evacuated so far, and fire crews are making night time water drops in Ventura to fight the blaze.
The fire is currently burning chaparral, a brush that has not burned in 20 years. The cause of the fire is undetermined.