SIMI VALLEY -- A wind-whipped brush fire burned more than 1,000 acres near hillside homes in the Simi Valley area north of Los Angeles early Wednesday.
The blaze, called the "Easy Fire," was spotted shortly after 6 a.m. near state Route 118 and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. By 10:30 a.m., the flames had spread across about 1,300 acres, Ventura County Fire Department said.
The flames were threatening as many as 6,500 homes at 11 a.m. Officials were only aware of one home that was destroyed in the fire as of noon.
Firefighters dealt with wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph as they fought to protect homes. Santa Ana winds were expected to whip much of Southern California through Thursday evening.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered within the following boundaries in various neighborhoods:
Simi Valley / Unincorporated Simi Valley / Moorpark / Thousand Oaks
- North: Highway 118
- South: Olsen / Madera Street
- East: Madera Street
- West: Highway 23
Moorpark / Thousand Oaks
- North: Read Road
- South: Olsen Road
- East: Highway 23
- West: Moorpark Road
Santa Rosa / Thousand Oaks
- North: Santa Rosa Road
- South: Andalusia Drive
- East: Moorpark Road
- West: Andalusia Drive
Thousand Oaks Community Center set up an evacuation shelter. Many schools were already closed in the area due to precautionary fire danger blackouts, similar to those being used in San Diego Wednesday.
Simi Valley is in the southeast corner of Ventura County, north of Thousand Oaks and Malibu. The blaze is not far from where the Saddleridge Fire burned about 8,000 acres, destroyed dozens of buildings and resulted in one death earlier in October.