VENTURA, Calif. (AP) – A surge from the biggest of the wildfires burning in Southern California has forced several thousand more people to evacuate in a community of artists and resorts.
Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow says flames have been creeping closer and slowly surrounding the town of Ojai (OH’hi), and on Tuesday night increasing winds brought them close enough to expand evacuation orders there.
Flames, now about 4 miles away, were visible from the city’s downtown for the first time on Tuesday night, and ash was raining down.
Parts of Ojai were already under evacuation orders, and the entire valley surrounding it had been under a voluntary evacuation advisory since the fire broke out on Monday.
The new evacuations meant most of the town of about 7,000 people was under mandatory orders.
Nearly 30,000 people are under evacuation orders for the fire.