2 Southern California Wildfires Force Mass Emergency Evacuations

A series of fast-moving wildfires are racing up and down California early Friday, destroying thousands of structures in their paths and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate through flame-lined streets.

Fanned by high winds and low humidity, the fires spread rapidly Thursday and overnight Friday.

Here’s what we know about the two burning in southern California:

The Woolsey Fire:

In Southern California, the night sky burned orange as the Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties grew thousands of acres overnight, exploding from 2,000 acres to 8,000 in a matter of hours.

The Woolsey Fire is one of two blazes burning just miles from the site of Wednesday night’s shooting massacre in Thousand Oaks. This one is just to the east of that city, part of which was evacuated.

About 75,000 homes in Ventura and Los Angeles counties are under evacuation orders, the Ventura County Fire Department said. Some structures have already been destroyed, Cal Fire reported.

“Please, please, please if you are asked to voluntarily leave the area, please do,” Ventura County fire Capt. Scott Dettore told CNN affiliate KTLA on Friday morning. “Make sure your stuff is packed and ready. Please leave the area.”

Hidden Hills resident Adrienne Janic gave her home over to firefighters late Thursday to use as a command center. Her deck provided a strong vantage point to monitor the spread of the fire.

By 1 a.m. (4 a.m. ET), more firefighters arrived as the flames closed in on Janic’s street

“While a lot of my yard and neighbors’ yards burned, the firefighters saved our homes,” Janic tweeted just after 2 a.m. (5 a.m. ET) Friday. “We are still not out of the woods yet.”

Christy Dawn Little abandoned her Oak Park home, northeast of Thousand Oaks, around 11 p.m. PT.

“I had to work this evening, and ran out when I realized how close it was,” Little told CNN. “We have found a safe hotel … (in) Los Angeles.”

Video of her drive out of town shows the fire emitting an orange-red glow in the distance in the nighttime sky.

The Hill Fire

The Hill Fire is the other fire burning near the site of this week’s mass shooting in Thousand Oaks.

This fire quickly spread to cover 10,000 acres, Ventura County Fire Department officials said.

Just 12 minutes after it started Thursday afternoon, the flames spread across the 101 Freeway, leaving several drivers temporarily stranded. The highway is expected to remain closed Friday morning, Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said.

Residents posted on social media to share their views of the flames nearly consuming the hillside in the Newbury Park area of western Thousand Oaks.

While no homes or businesses have been lost due to the fast-moving blaze, a number of RVs and outbuildings have been burned and a firefighter suffered a minor injury, authorities said.

Fire officials anticipate the fire will reach the Pacific Ocean.