At least one person has died as a result of the fast-spreading wildfire plaguing more than 30,000 acres in southern California, officials say.
The blaze, dubbed “Thomas Fire,” started near Santa Paula — which is about 70 miles north of Los Angeles — and spread to cover at least 31,000 acres by 4 a.m., according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. One person died in a rollover crash while trying to evacuate the area as thousands attempted to escape in the dark, CNN reports.
“The fire is still out of control and structures continue to be threatened throughout the fire area,” officials said in a statement, describing the blaze as a “fast moving, active brush fire.” “Due to the intensity of the fire, crews are having trouble making access and there are multiple reports of structures on fire.”
The flames burned into Ventura city limits over night, and police ordered mandatory evacuations for several towns in the area. Officials in Ventura County, Ventura city and Santa Paula have declared a state of emergency. Officials issued evacuation notices to more than 25,000 residents and fore 7,500 homes.
The Ventura County Fire Department issued a warning early Monday morning, writing in a …read more