The Santa Barbara County Fire Department has sent a strike team, battalion chief and a pair of dozer strike teams to the Maria Fire that broke out Thursday night in Santa Paula.
The fire started around 6:14 p.m. Thursday and as of Friday evening, it had grown to an approximate 9,000 acres with zero percent containment, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
Some 27,000 structures were threatened, and two had been destroyed as of Friday afternoon. About 10,800 people were under evacuation orders. One of the shelters is Camarillo Community Center, 1605 Burnley St., Camarillo.
No injuries had been reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Ventura County and the city of Goleta are making N-95 particle masks available to all members of the community free of charge. Refer to http://www.vcemergency.com/ for more information on mask distribution locations, power shutoffs, evacuation and shelter information. In Goleta, the masks are available at the Goleta Library at 500 N. Fairview Ave. (10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday) and Goleta Valley Community Center at 5679 N. Fairview Ave. (8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday).
The National Weather Service’s red flag warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday. The Santa Paula blaze prompted the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to issue an air quality alert through the weekend for Santa Barbara County.
“Levels of smoke and particles, and areas impacted, will vary,” the alert read. “If you see or smell smoke in the air, be cautious and use common sense to protect your and your family’s health. Everyone — especially people with heart and lung conditions (including asthma), older adults, pregnant women, and children — should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of smoke and particles are in the air.”
Residents are advised to:
- Keep windows and doors closed when smoke is present.
- Create a “clean air room” by running a high efficiency particulate air purifier” which can reduce indoor particulate levels by up to 90 percent.
- Use N-95 masks correctly, which can reduce smoke exposure outdoors by up to 95 percent if properly fitted.
For more information on air conditions and weather forecasts, visit www.ourair.org/todays-air-quality.
Crews from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department were also called to the Getty Fire that broke out early Monday in Brentwood. As of Friday afternoon, the blaze had charred an estimated 745 acres and was considered 66 percent contained. Investigators have determined the fire was an “accidental start” caused by a tree branch that broke off and landed in nearby power lines during high wind conditions, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Four firefighters suffered non-life threatening injuries and 10 residences have been destroyed, with another 15 sustaining damage. No civilian injuries were reported and all evacuation orders have been lifted.
A mixed five-engine strike team of South Coast fire agencies was also sent to the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. That fire broke out around 9:30 p.m. Oct. 23. As of Friday afternoon, the blaze had torched 77,758 acres and was considered 68 percent contained. At least 55 structures had been damaged and 352 had been destroyed. Four injuries have been reported. Nearly 5,000 fire personnel remain assigned to the fire, the cause of which remains under investigation, according to authorities.
Local fire agencies also sent a strike team to Simi Valley for the Easy Fire that broke out early Wednesday. The blaze had destroyed two structures and was threatening some 7,000 others as of Friday afternoon and had burned an estimated 1,723 acres. More than 700 firefighters were working to contain the fire, with 10 percent containment reported Friday afternoon.
Mitchell White contributed to this story