Firefighters battled a fast-moving, wind-fueled brush fire Monday night along the Santa Paula-Ojai border in California that triggered mandatory evacuations of hundreds of homes. Dubbed as Thomas Fire, the blaze charred through more than 10,000 acres with no containment.

The Thomas Fire ignited above Steckel Park, which is located at 8080 Mistletoe Road and was burning north of Santa Paula along Highway 150 and Bridge Road as of 9 p.m. local time, Ventura County’s emergency information website reported. The cause of the fire is unknown. 

Massive power outages were reported in Santa Paula, Oxnard, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta. Authorities said that the fire was expected to impact Ventura by 1 a.m. Santa Paula Unified School District will be closed Tuesday.

"We’re really just trying to catch it around the edges and just pinch it off as quickly as we possibly can," Ventura County firefighter Jason Hodge reportedly said, adding that crews are dealing with 25 to 50 mph winds. "That’s what’s driving this fire. So it’s a challenge, but everybody’s out there working hard and will be through the night."

Hodge also said that helicopters were scheduled to make water drops once it was determined the rapid blaze would not affect safe flying. 

"It’s always difficult and somewhat dangerous to fly at night, so depending on different conditions and the geographic challenges is how they evaluate whether or not they can operate at night," Hodge said.

Below is the perimeter map of the Thomas Fire.

The blaze is "rapidly increasing," Ventura County Fire Capt. Steve Kaufmann said, adding that officials cannot give an exact number of firefighters at the scene but, "we’ve literally ordered fire resources from all over the region." Ventura County Fire staffed an extra 100 or so firefighters as strong winds triggered a red flag warning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Ventura County Fire Department said that evacuation centers were set up at Ventura Fairgrounds in Ventura, Miners Building at Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 W. Harbor Boulevard, and Nordhoff High School, 1401 Maricopa Highway in Ojai.

Some social media users reported that power was out in East Ventura and the city of Santa Paula completely lost power.

Road Closures:

Wheeler Canyon Road at Foothill Road

Highway 150 at Reeves Road

Highway 150 at Santa Barbara Street

Highway 150 at Sisar Road

Highway 150 at Stonegate Road

Peck Road at Foothill Road

Wells Road at Foothill Road

Ventura Ave from Main St to Canada Larga


Do not wait to be told to evacuate. If you feel in danger, Leave. This fire is moving very quickly with erratic fire behavior. —  Ventura County Scanner

Please leave impact areas early as firefighting equipment need access to continue structure protection operations. — Ventura County Fire Department

Blaze moving in a southwest direction toward the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura.

Sexton Canyon Rd is completely cut off with fire. People trapped in the canyon. —  Ventura County Scanner

Evacuations east of Dickenson Road, north of Monte Vista Drive along Highway 150, north of Foothill Road in Ventura.

Roads in Ventura are completely jammed due to evacuations.

Mandatory evacuations ordered for East Ventura, north of foothill Road as the rapid rate of spread will push the fire into that area within a few hours. — Ventura County Fire Department

Major structure threat in Ventura. Units need help evacuating apartment buildings in north Ventura. —  Ventura County Scanner

Don't forget to evacuate your pets and help your elderly neighbors. —  Ventura County Scanner

Highway 150 is completely blocked by power lines and burning power poles. —  Ventura County Scanner

Entire Ojai Valley has no power. Most of Ventura also without power. —  Ventura County Scanner

Homes burning on Mariposa Drive in Ventura. —  Ventura County Scanner

Wind is pushing the fire into the city of Ventura. Fire is burning home to home. Evacuate the area immediately. This fire has gotten more dangerous. Leave the area before it is too late. —  Ventura County Scanner

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