The Los Angeles Times reports:
A fast-moving, wind-fueled wildfire swept into the city of Ventura early Tuesday, burning 31,000 acres, destroying homes and forcing 27,000 people to evacuate.
About 150 structures — including at least one large apartment complex — were consumed by flames, and many more were threatened as the fire crept about a quarter mile away from City Hall. Engulfed in flames, the Hawaiian Village Apartments collapsed about 4 a.m. Residents watched with their cameras and cell phones out, the sound of propane tanks bursting filled the air.
Hundreds of firefighters working through the night tried to prevent the blaze from spreading, block by block, as they were confronted by wind gusts of up to 50 mph. One firefighter was injured, though it’s unclear how. Fire officials said the intensity of the fire, coupled with the wind, made it pretty much unstoppable.
April Vizzo-Tackett, who has lived in Ventura her whole life, told me this is Hawaiian Village Apartments, a large apartment complex. It’s burning. Smoke billowing from the roof. #ThomasFire pic.twitter.com/ohiVEwR1Ar
— Jaclyn Cosgrove (@jaclyncosgrove) December 5, 2017
— Douglas MacDonald (@dmac5dmark2) December 5, 2017
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 5, 2017
— Kenny Holmes (@KHOLMESlive) December 5, 2017
#ThomasFire is currently impacting Highway 150. Please leave impact areas early as firefighting equipment need access to continue structure protection operations. #VCFD @VCFD pic.twitter.com/WrpIq7mAaf
— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) December 5, 2017