Evacuations are underway as firefighters battle a wind-driven brush fire burning near homes in Thousand Oaks Thursday.

The blaze, dubbed the Erbes Fire, erupted on the north side of Erbes Road near Sunset Hills Boulevard shortly before 5:20 p.m., according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

It was reported at 30 acres half an hour later, before exploding to 100 acres by 6:07 p.m., officials said.

The flames were being fanned by strong winds, threatening nearby structures as the fire is pushed forward.

It’s unclear what ignited the blaze.

The National Weather Service described the Erbes Fire as being a “dangerous fire.”

The blaze erupted amid warm, dry, windy conditions causing elevated to critical fire weather throughout in Southern California.

Forecasters had warned the conditions would descend Thursday evening on mountain and valley areas in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, with northeast winds gusting at 30-50 mph.

Gusts topped 50 mph at Boney Mountain, while 91-degree heat in Camarillo shattered the city’s temperature record for Jan. 14, according to the weather service.

That figure made Camarillo one of the hottest places in the U.S. Thursday, NWS said.

Forecasters say more heat records could be broken Friday as offshore winds continue.

Near the fire Thursday evening, the temperature was 77 degrees with relative humidity of 17%. Northeast winds were blowing at about 7 mph, with gusts up to 21 mph, NWS said.

Check back for updates on this developing story.


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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