Wildfires near Thousand Oaks, California put over 100,000 homes under evacuation orders

The Hill and Woosley Fires started Thursday evening.

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(UPDATED at 4:48 p.m. PST November 9, 2018)

map Woolsey Fire
Map showing the APPROXIMATE, ESTIMATED perimeter of the Woolsey Fire at 1:04 p.m. November 9, 2018. Click to enlarge.

Disclaimer: Above is a very, very rough map showing the APPROXIMATE location of the Woolsey Fire that has burned from Simi Valley south to Malibu in Southern California. It is based on heat sensing data from a satellite flying hundreds of miles above the earth which is not always 100 percent accurate. It is possible that the fire burned through some areas of light vegetation, such as grass, then self-extinguished and cooled before the next overflight which occurs about every 12 hours. Some areas that are shown as unburned may not have been detected by the heat sensors and could actually have been burned.

(To see all articles about the Woolsey Fire on Wildfire Today, including the most recent, click here.)

We only produced this estimated perimeter map because as far as we know no government agency has released a one of the Woolsey Fire. If and when they do, it will no doubt be more accurate than this version.

At 1 p.m. Friday, L. A. County reported the fire had burned 14,000 acres. Our very, very rough estimate is approximately 50,000 acres.

(UPDATED at 1:40 p.m. PST November 9, 2018)

The Incident Commander on the Woolsey Fire estimates it has burned about 14,000 acres. The fire started at 2:30 p.m. Thursday east of Simi Valley and was blown by strong Santa Ana winds south across the 101 Freeway Friday morning. It is now approaching the Pacific Ocean, and all of Malibu is under an evacuation order. About 150,000 residents have evacuated. Traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway is extremely congested as people attempt to leave the area.

There is a report that dogs, horses, and pigs have been seen on the beach, taking refuge from the fire.

Woolsey Fire
Satellite photo showing smoke from the Woolsey Fire at Malibu, California. MOODIS.
Whoolsey Fire
The Woolsey Fire approaches the Pacific coast. KTLA
747 air tanker drop
A DC-10 air tanker drops on the Woolsey Fire Nov. 9, 2018. KTLA.

(Originally published at 11:12 a.m. PST November 9, 2018)

Two large wildfires that started November 8 near Thousand Oaks, California have prompted officials to place 75,000 homes under mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders.

The Woolsey Fire burned over 9,000 acres near Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills north of the 101 Freeway Thursday, but Friday morning it jumped across the highway near Liberty Canyon Road in Agoura. At about 9 a.m. local time the Los Angeles County Fire Department PIO said it was “headed to the ocean”.

map Hill Fire Woolsey Fire
Map showing heat detected by a satellite over the Hill and Woolsey Fires at 1:48 a.m. PST November 9, 2018. The arrows indicate the direction the fires spread after the satellite overflight. Click to enlarge.

The Hill Fire also jumped the 101 near Camarillo Springs Road and reached the freeway 12 to 15 minutes after it started, pushed by extreme winds. After crossing the freeway it moved into the scar from the 2013 Springs Fire and slowed considerably due to the lighter fuels. It  has burned about 6,100 acres as of Friday morning.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for the Woolsey Fire south of the 101 Freeway to the coast — from the Ventura/LA County line east to Malibu Canyon Road, including areas in Malibu.

A resident of Malibu, @TracyWrights, tweeted Friday morning:

The power is out in #Malibu. We had NO IDEA any evacuation order was in place until we got in the car and heard the news on @KNX1070. Our community does NOT KNOW to get out and PCH is now gridlocked for miles. #Woolseyfire

The Ventura County FD PIO said at about 1 a.m. Friday that multiple structures were burning near Erbes Road and Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks.

Both fires started in Ventura County but the Woolsey Fire crossed into Los Angeles County near the 101.

Satellite photo smoke Woolsey Fire
Satellite photo showing smoke from the Woolsey Fire at 10:42 a.m. PST November 9, 2018. Click to enlarge.

Maps that show the distribution of wildfire smoke in California can be found here.

The Saddlerock weather station between Thousand oaks and Malibu recorded overnight winds out of the northeast of 12 to 15 mph gusting to 25, but they increased after sunrise with sustained winds of 18 gusting to 33 mph. The forecast calls for the wind speeds to decrease Friday afternoon.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

4 thoughts on “Wildfires near Thousand Oaks, California put over 100,000 homes under evacuation orders”

  1. I felt for the victims of the ongoing fires in California. This year the fires seem more widely spread either in Northern or Southern California. Southern California was considered a desert when I moved there over 30 years ago. This year in Phoenix we only have had one short monsoon rain so far which certainly is not a good sign. When it comes to weather humankind is pretty in a helpless situation. We can only take it and deal with it.

  2. The TV news is frustrating. They seldom show maps and they jump from one fire to the other without saying which fire it is or at least they don’t make it clear. The maps here help very much. I did not realize that the Hill Fire is as far from Los Angeles as it is. I did not realize that the Woolsey Fire is so much bigger than the Hill Fire.

    My mother and father used to work at Rocketdyne, the location that is reported to have been where the Woolsey Fire started. They would drive up and down Woolsey Canyon for work. We are interested in knowing the details of what caused the fire. Since there have been deaths apparently caused by the fire I assume it will be especially important for them to determine the cause of the fire.

  3. So sad to see this happening again. I lost a rental home in the Box Canyon fire in 1964 est. This fire burned all the way to Thousand Oaks threatening my home on Rancho Rd. Now another one, so sad. There are many more homes in this area now, unfortunately many more to burn. I worked at the Hughes Research Labs in Malibu from 1965 to 1975 and have lost count of all the fires over that period. I am now 84 years old and sitting over here in So. Arizona watching. My heart goes out to all those folks affected by this seemingly common event. I am a firm believer in the world climate change and it’s effect on the these fires. What to do ???

  4. I love this site. It lets me watch the wildfires around the nation and lets me know if any of my relatives are in danger. I am so glad that I found this page.


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