(UPDATE at 8 p.m. PST, December 26, 2015)
The Solimar Fire northwest of Ventura, California as of 5:40 p.m. PST had not grown appreciably since early Saturday morning, and was mapped at 1,236 acres. Approximately 403 firefighters were on scene at that time as well as one helicopter.
The 101 Freeway, which had been closed in both directions is now open and evacuations have been lifted.
The weather has changed from strong gusty winds Friday night to a Saturday night forecast of 7 mph north winds, 37 degrees, with 30 percent humidity.Photo of Solina Fire courtesy of Ventura County Fire Department.
(Originally published at 11:05 a.m. PST, December 26, 2015)
A vegetation fire has burned about 1,200 acres in southern California northwest of the city of Ventura. The Solimar Fire started at about 11 p.m. PST Christmas day and spread quickly, pushed by 50 mph winds.
The fire, burning on both sides of the 101 freeway near the Pacific coast, caused havoc among motorists when some of them made U-turns on the blocked divided highway, fleeing from the fire through opposing traffic, much to the surprise of the unaware oncoming drivers.
The 101 is closed and mandatory evacuations are still in place as this is written at 10:56 a.m. on Saturday.
The good news is that, again, the Pacific Ocean proved its value as a very adequate fuel break.
The video below was a 2 a.m. briefing by the Ventura County Fire Department.