After forcing 200,000 people to flee and burning scores of homes in Ventura County and Malibu, the Woolsey fire early Saturday morning pushed in several directions and created new dangers.
At Zuma Beach, the Pacific Ocean was obscured by smoke. Horses, dogs and Southern Californians displaced by raging wildfires Friday sought refuge on the sand. The dress code called for protective face masks, not wetsuits.
“We have a significant number of structures lost,” L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Os by said. “I would estimate at least 100.”
People like Shirley Hertel turned on television sets in horror and watched the homes they’d fled catch fire.
No deaths had been reported as of Friday afternoon, but the number of damaged homes was sure to rise as the fire chewed east into the edge of West Hills, marking the first incursion into the city of Los Angeles. Fire officials said they will be assessing the damage Saturday.
The Los Angeles Police Department issued a mandatory evacuation order early Friday evening that covered homes in West Hills west of Valley Circle Boulevard between Vanowen Street and Roscoe Boulevard. Officers were driving street to street in the neighborhood, urging residents to leave, officials said.
Roberts and her 22-year-old daughter rushed out, covering their faces with sweaters, as flames flickered out their window at the back of the house and filled the air with heavy smoke.
By Friday night, wildfire was racing toward West Hills, a neighborhood at the western edge of the San Fernando Valley. At rush hour, an unknown number of homes were ablaze.
Around a quarter of a million people were under evacuation orders Friday — the entire city of Malibu; Calabasas, Agoura and Hidden Hills; the Topanga Canyon area and three-quarters of Thousand Oaks. More than 40,000 acres had burned. Two thousand firefighters were deployed along with more than 600 law enforcement personnel.