WASHINGTON – One person is reported dead and 27,000 have been forced to evacuate their homes due to a massive Southern California wildfire, which has already spread over a 125.5-sq.-kilometer (31,000-acre) area and destroyed around 150 structures, local authorities said Tuesday.
The fast-moving blaze began Monday evening outside Santa Paula, a town northwest of Los Angeles, and had spread to the coastal city of Ventura – home to around 100,000 people – by 4 am Tuesday morning.
Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said in a press conference that one person died in a traffic accident while trying to flee the fire, which has spread rapidly due to strong winds.
At least one firefighter was injured while trying to contain the blaze, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
“The prospects for containment are not good,” Lorenzen told reporters early Tuesday. “Really Mother Nature is going to decide whether we have the ability to put it out because it is pushing hard.”