Woolsey's fire roars in the San Fernando valley

TO UPDATE: While the wind-fueled Woolsey fire rushed into the San Fernando Valley last Saturday, firefighters prepared for a busy day on multiple firefalls in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The officials were supposed to hold a press conference on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has thrown himself into the devastating fire storm, threatening to withhold federal payments in California, making forest management "so poor".


Late Friday evening officials from the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office reported that two bodies were discovered in the fire in the Malibu area. But it was not immediately clear whether the dead were connected to the fire.

Firefighters were supported by forecasts that the winds would ease off today, but they feared that the same predictors would have said that the hot Santa Anas would return on Sunday, without ever seeing them until Tuesday.

The fire had burned 35,000 acres this morning, overwhelming dozens of homes and other facilities while the tired firefighter crews scrambled to contain the damage and the authorities pushed tens of thousands of residents to flee the threat of invasion.

The fire, which broke out on Thursday at the former Rocketdyne site south of Simi Valley, burned without control for two days, with zero containment, and caused waves of evacuation from the parts of Agoura Hills, Westlake Village and Calabasas to the city of Malibu.

The president announced today on Twiitter that "there is no reason for these huge, deadly and expensive fires in California". Trump said that "every year are given billions of dollars, with so many lives lost, all because of poor forest management, remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"

The comments were the first of Trump on the massive forest fires that burned in the south and north of California. He previously issued an emergency statement that provides federal funds to help firefighters.

Transmission reports showed flames engulfing hills, several houses and other structures while the fire marched towards the sea. Among the roads and motorways hanging from the evacuated traffic was the Pacific Coast Highway, which had seen a slew of Malibu residents heading south to safety.

At least 150 homes in Southern California have been burned by fire, according to reports from the Associated Press, including villas of the rich and famous by the sea in Malibu.

MORE: This map shows where the Woolsey and Hill fires burn

On Friday night, the flames had moved into the San Fernando Valley, threatening the West Hills neighborhood, with evacuation orders placed in West Hills, west of Valley Circle, Roscoe Boulevard, Vanowen Street.

As the irregular winds began to drop as the day passed, meteorologists expected it to continue for a few days and recover in intensity. Another wind event is expected in the coming days, said Los Angeles County Fire Department chief Daryl Osby during an afternoon press conference at Thousand Oaks.

Once there is a break in the winds, "then we can start getting a good anchor and support and attack this fire," said Ventura County captain, Brian McGrath.

The number of people under evacuation orders was staggering: it is estimated that 250,000 people.

Among those fleeing the fire were a number of celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West, Scott Baio, Rainn Wilson and Guillermo del Toro. Some, like del Toro and Caitlyn Jenner, did not know the fate of their homes, but the forest fire destroyed the home of "Dr. Strange" director Scott Derrickson and the historic Paramount Ranch where shows like "Westworld" and " Dr. "of HBO Quinn, Medicine Woman" were shot, according to the AP.

The impetuous fire also sent high plumes of smoke high up in the sun-soaked sky.

About 78,000 people have been evacuated from Ventura County alone from over 21,000 homes and businesses, according to Ventura County sheriff officials.

"We informed everyone at Thousand Oaks, from the Los Angeles county line, to Highway 23, south along Highway 101, Lake Sherwood, and all the canyon areas to the beach," the sergeant said. Eric Buschow with the Sherrif office in Ventura County.

Meanwhile, officials from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department have told residents to evacuate from the areas of Hidden Hills, Malibu, Malibu Canyon East to Topanga Canyon Road – including all areas south or west through the Ventura County Coast.

The residents of Mount Nido and Topanga Canyon, without legal personality, were also asked to evacuate north to the Chatsworth or San Fernando area.

By mid-afternoon on Friday, the California Highway Patrol had turned all four lanes of the Pacific Coast Highway in one direction, traffic south from Malibu Canyon Road to the 10 Santa Monica Freeway for those fleeing from the fire in the area of Malibu, officials said.

Some displaced were seen in Zuma Beach with gas masks watching the fire of Woolsey Fire. Several lamas evacuated from the fire were tied to a beach rescue tower.

Those who had been evacuated were asked to bring their identification, their medicine and all important documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, along with supplies, a change of clothes and toiletries.

Agents evacuated in need of accommodation were invited to go to Pierce College in Woodland Hills or Palisades Charter High School in Pacific Palisades, officials said. Taft High School in Woodland Hills was "currently full".

Meanwhile, the Ventura County Fire Department has ordered a mandatory evacuation Friday for all residents and businesses along Wood Ranch Parkway, east to First Street and Long Canyon Road to Valley Gate Road.

Residents of other areas have been asked to stay out of that area to avoid hindering evacuation there.

Fire officials have struggled to achieve some sort of containment amid strong winds.

Another fire, the Fire of the Hill, started in the county of Ventura, had burned about 6,200 hectares since Friday morning and caused the dispatch of more than 17,000 people.

The Woolsey Fire skipped Freeway 101 near Chesebro Road at Agoura Hills on the first Friday and was burning on the south side of the freeway in an area that had been evacuated hours before.

As a result, the 101 Freeway was closed in both directions from Valley Circle Boulevard in the Hidden Hills area to Lindero Canyon Road in the Westlake Village area, officials from California Highway Patrol said.

RELATED HISTORY: Evidence of Woolsey fire forces for Malibu residents

MAP: Where Hill and Woolsey's fire are burning

IF YOU HAVE TO EVACUATE: What to bring and how to prepare in advance

The fire forced Portrero Road between Rancho Dos Vientos and South Lewis Road to be closed in Ventura County, according to CHP officers. The avenues and ramps of the Camarillo Springs Road on the 101 Freeway have also been closed since Friday afternoon.

The Freeway 101 southbound between Wendy Drive and Lewis Road reopened Friday morning, said Rebekah Wyatt, a commissioner of the CHP.

The fire broke out at 2:25 pm. Thursday, pushed by strong winds of Santa Ana that prevented air strikes early in the morning. Some flights started at 5:30 am, when the wind dropped. It was expected to resume overnight.

Heavy smoke and strong winds hindered the crews' visibility on the fire lines and the inhabitants trying to evacuate.

Chief John Benedict of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the evacuations are underway.

"This thing is moving fast and you have to be prepared," Benedict said. Residents must leave if they are told to evacuate.

The fire caused the closure of all schools in the unified school district of Las Virgines in Calabasas, in addition to Viewpoint School, Montessori of Calabasas, Montessori of Calabasas Too and Muse School, the city of Calabasas announced on Friday morning. Even the Pierce College campus had no classes.

Health officials have also warned residents in the smoky areas to stay indoors and limit their activity to the open.

Another evacuation center for animals was opened Friday morning at the Hansen Dam, 11770 Foothill Blvd. in Lake View Terrace, after the evacuation center at Pierce College in Woodland Hills reached capacity.

RELATED HISTORY: Rams cancels the practice in Cal Lutheran amid the fires in Ventura County

The Los Angeles Police Department has been subjected to a city-wide tactical alert at about 12.45pm to ensure all resources are available to assist evacuation orders and road closures promoted by Woolsey Fire, according to a statement by the department .

"If you find yourself in an affected area and have been ordered to evacuate, evacuate," reads the statement.

The authors of the staff Ruby Gonzales, Christopher Yee, Kevin Modesti, Eric Licas, Jonah Valdez, Robert Gundran, Steve Scauzillo and City News Service contributed to this report.

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