A wildfire in Southern California closed off a section of a major highway early Saturday. Officials say traffic was shut off in both directions on Highway 101 near Ventura, 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times reports a section of the Pacific Coast Highway is also closed—the two highways run parallel to each other in the area, and are major arteries for holiday travel.
The blaze, which started late Friday, has expanded to an estimated 1,200 acres, driven by strong winds. The Ventura County Fire Department says 600 firefighters are on scene or en route, but a Cal Fire incident report says the blaze is 10 percent contained. Firefighters say it could take up to three days to fully contain the blaze, but officials say they hope to be able to open Highway 101 up to traffic sooner than that. Here’s a map of the fire:
The dramatic images of wildfire flames have become commonplace as California battles with one of the most severe droughts on record. The fires are no longer just a summer phenomenon, either. The LA Times says the cause of the fire is still under investigation. No injuries have been reported, and Ventura County Emergency Information says no structures have been destroyed.
Here are some images of the blaze: