Camarillo brush fire grows to 6,500 acres, heading toward coast; PCH shut down


Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Dos Vientos, Camarillo Springs, Cal State University Channels Islands and Sycamore Canyon Elementary School. Rancho Sierra Vista and Sycamore Canyon are closed.

The fire started around 6:45 a.m. near the Camarillo Springs Road exit and was burning quickly in steep terrain. Hundreds of firefighters rushed to the scene.

Tom Kruschke of Ventura County Fire said the wind-driven fire is burning between Camarillo and Newbury Park and is moving quickly to the south. With the high winds, hot weather, low humidity and dry brush, Kruschke said it was the perfect storm for a wildfire.

"This all adds up to this fast-moving and erratic fire we're experiencing right now," he said.

There are no reports of houses being lost, but several RVs and boats that had been parked in a storage lot were destroyed. The biggest problem for fire crews is embers that can travel about a mile ahead of the fire.

"We're experiencing spotting in some of these urban areas even though they aren't directly connected to the wild land and the brush fuels," Kruschke said.

Pacific Coast Highway is closed between Yerba Buena and Las Posas. Two right lanes on the southbound 101 Freeway were temporarily shut down near Camarillo Springs Road but has since reopened.

Authorities are urging residents who are in evacuation zones to heed orders and leave immediately. The Red Cross has set up shelters for residents at Thousand Oaks Community Park, 2525 N. Moorpark Rd., and Calvary Community Chapel, 380 Mobil Ave. Residents who need more information can call Ventura County fire officials at (805) 388-4276.

Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.