A brush fire has burned 1,238 acres in Solimar Beach near Ventura, prompting mandatory evacuations and temporarily closing the 101 Freeway in both directions Saturday morning.
The fire started around 10:30 p.m. Friday, burning about 100 acres in the 3000 block of West Pacific Coast Highway. According to Ventura County Fire officials, the flames were visible about 150 feet from the sand.
More than 600 firefighters from various agencies, including Los Angeles County Fire Department and Cal Fire, worked to quell the flames along with help from helicopter water drops. About 40 firefighters and two air tanks from San Diego were asked upon for assistance in fighting the fire. The fire is about 60 percent contained.
Strong winds and dry, drought-stricken vegetation caused the fire to quickly grow to 900 acres by 5 a.m. Saturday, prompting mandatory evacuations for the Solimar Beach and Emma Wood State Beach areas. The blaze threatened about 35 homes in the Solimar Beach community.