Woolsey Fire grows to 93,662 acres, 30 percent contained
(FOX 11/CNS) - Santa Ana winds picked up again today and were expected to continue into Tuesday as firefighters battling the deadly Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties worked to hold back the flames.
On its fifth day Monday, the fire burned 93,662 acres and is thirty percent contained with full containment not expected until Thursday, according to Cal Fire.
President Donald Trump has tweeted that he has approved an "expedited request" for a major disaster declaration for California.
"Wanted to respond quickly in order to alleviate some of the incredible suffering going on. I am with you all the way. God bless all of the victims and families affected," Trump said.
As of 7 p.m. Monday, Cal Fire has reported that the fire has destroyed at least 435 structures and threatened about 57,000 since igniting Thursday afternoon and 24 structures were damaged. At least 75,000 homes and an estimated 265,000 people were evacuated in both counties.
Two people have died and three firefighters have been injured battling the blaze.
Mobile app users, click here for Monday morning aerial video.
Santa Ana winds were forecast to return this week with increased wind gusts in the mountains, officials said. A Red Flag Warning remained in effect for Los Angeles and Ventura counties through Wednesday.
More than 3,500 firefighters were assigned to the blaze and 22 helicopters worked from above, officials said. A number of air tankers were in use to suppress flames as conditions allowed.
The cause remained under investigation, Cal Fire said.
Meanwhile, the California Public Utilities Commission is investigating Southern California Edison for its possible role in the fire.
According to CPUC, electrical infrastructure may have suffered malfunctions near ground zero of the blazes two minutes before they began.
The agency is also investigating PG&E for its possible role in the Camp Fire in Butte County, which has burned 113,000 acres and resulted in at least 29 deaths.
Some residents within the Woolsey Fire area have been advised to boil tap water amid the massive firefighting effort.
Repopulation of some neighborhoods and the reopening of Highway 101 west of Los Angeles began late Sunday. Evacuation orders for Agoura Hills were lifted Monday and all residents were cleared to return home, city officials said.
Cal Fire announced Monday evening that evacuation orders have now been lifted for West Hills in Los Angeles and Bell Canyon in Ventura County.
In Malibu, Pepperdine University said the school's Malibu and Calabasas campuses would remain closed through Thanksgiving. All Malibu schools in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District will remain closed until at least Thursday, the district announced. City officials said there will likely be intermittent power outages due to weather and fire conditions.
Mandatory evacuations remained in effect in other areas, however, including the entire cities of Malibu and Calabasas.
Calabasas City Manager Gary Lysik issued a statement Sunday evening on social media.
"For your safety and the safety of your family, please collect necessary person items and evacuate the city as quickly as possible, and please follow instructions provided by law enforcement,'' Lysik said. He also said that residents can get the latest information about the city's situation on the website www.cityofcalabasas.com.
The California Highway Patrol reopened the northbound and southbound Ventura (101) Freeway from Valley Circle Boulevard. Pacific Coast Highway remained closed to all traffic from the Ventura/Los Angeles County line to Sunset Boulevard.
Click here for a full list of current evacuation areas, centers and road closures.
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