California – A brush fire that occurred in north of Ventura near the Pacific Coast Highway left 1,200 acres burned, and it continues to menace thousands of home. The highway was already closed since the fire started building up at about 11 p.m. on Friday.

The fire spread very quickly and the flames were impulsed by north winds that reached about 50 mph, said Chief Mark Lorenzen from the Ventura County Fire Department.

As a consequence of the fire mandatory evacuations in the Solmar Beach neighborhoods were carried out. People who were camping also evacuated nearby campgrounds as a preventive measure.

More than 100 wildfires are burning across the West — destroying dozens of homes, forcing hundreds of people to flee and stretching firefighting budgets to the breaking point. Credit: NBC News

Authorities said that the Red Cross opened a shelter at the Carpinteria Veteran’s Memorial Building, which is located at 941 Walnut Avenue in Carpinteria. It appears that it will take around three days for officials to completely stop the fire. By Saturday morning only 10 percent of the disaster was contained.

Hopefully, until now there have not been any affected structures, or any people injured. However drivers need to use Highway 150 instead of the Pacific Coast Highway because the latter was closed in both directions between Highway 33 and Bates Road to prevent accidents. Big truck drivers should evade the area that is being controlled by more than 600 firefighters and two water-dropping helicopters, LA Times reported.

“It’s still a dynamic situation and it could change. It’s still not a contained fire so I just want to caution that any openings that do happen are subject to being closed again if the fire changes direction.” said Cmdr. Norm Plott of the Ventura County Fire Department

The wind is the factor that is causing most concerns to firefighters because it was blowing at 25- 35 mph on Saturday and strong north winds are predicted to take place today. However they are expected to decline to 15 mph.

The Ventura County Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Ventura City Fire Department, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Paula City Fire Department, CAL-FIRE, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol are all part of the agencies collaborating to stop the fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2014 there were 1,298,000 fires reported in the United States and these fires caused 3,275 civilian deaths, 15,775 civilian injuries, and $11.6 billion in property damage.

It is impressive that in the same year the U.S fire departments responded to a fire every 24 seconds and one structure fire was reported every 64 seconds.

Source: LA Times