Maria Fire: Ventura County Blaze Near Santa Paula Explodes, Zero Containment
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Maria Fire: Ventura County Blaze Near Santa Paula Explodes, Zero Containment

By Bruce Haring

A new wildfire has broken out just south of Santa Paula, with evacuations ordered for nearby residents. By 11 PM, the fire had grown to 5,000 acres, according to the Ventura CountyFire Department, and the blaze was 0% contained. There were 1,800 structures threatened and 7,500 people under evacuation orders. By midnight, about 7,500 acres were burning.

The Maria Fire was first reported about 6:15 p.m. atop South Mountain. Precautionary evacuations were issued west of Balcom Canyon Road and north of the 118 Freeway, fire officials said.

The battle against the fire is attempting to box it in south of the 126 Freeway, north of the 118 Freeway, East of Vineyard Avenue and west of Balcom Canyon Road. Three helicopters are doing water drops and 250 firefighters are on the ground are in place to aid in protecting structures.  More than 30 fire engines and two bulldozers are also on the scene.

Earlier, a fire called the Coronado Fire was quickly corralled near Coronado Circle in Santa Paula on Thursday afternoon.

Late on Thursday, the Santa Paula Unified School District and the Mesa Union School District announced that all schools will be closed on Friday.

VCFD PIO@VCFD_PIO

#MariaFire At 6:14PM @VCFD responded to a confirmed brush fire on South Mtn in Santa Paula. Unk acreage. Precautionary evacuation near Balcom Cyn & 12th street. Firefighters are working to keep the fire within the following box:
S of 126 fwy
N of LA Ave
E of Vineyard
W of Balcom40710:08 PM – Oct 31, 2019 · Thousand Oaks, CATwitter Ads info and privacy278 people are talking about this