Moorpark, CA — A 15-square-mile brush fire continues to burn out of control after destroying five homes and threatening hundreds in the canyons and hills surrounding a Ventura County bedroom community.
Firefighters battled the fast-moving fire Sunday stoked by fierce Santa Ana winds that have scorched brush and chaparral in hills surrounding Moorpark. Some residents have stayed put despite nearby flames up to 35-feet high.
The fire broke out around 2:30 Sunday morning on the northwestern edge of the town approximately 29 miles northwest of Los Angeles. By early evening the fire had created a dense haze over the city and forced authorities to shut down part of the area´s main north-south artery, Highway 23.
Hampered by 70-mph gusts, more than 1,000 firefighters aided by water-dropping helicopters were focusing more on protecting homes than containing the flames.