PETALUMA, California -- Southern California residents were told to evacuate from their homes on Thursday as authorities struggle to contain a raging brush fire northwest of Los Angeles, according to local officials cited by Reuters.
Authorities advised people living in the Newbury Park and Camarillo areas to leave their homes due to the threat of the so-called Springs fire spreading alongside the 101 Freeway, said the Los Angeles Times.
Here's a photo from Reuters:
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 2, 2013
The Ventura County Fire Department issued a statement telling residents there to "gather important documents, medications and other irreplaceable belongings and be ready to evacuate," according to the LA Times.
"We advise anybody in the area to be prepared. Wildfires are very unpredictable -- we don't know what direction it's going to go," Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Bill Nash told the LA Times. "We really want people to be prepared. It's better to do it now before a sheriff's deputy is knocking on your door."
California's Press Democrat said recreational cars caught on fire and reported further evacuation orders:
"The evacuation orders included the smoke-choked campus of California State University, Channel Islands, attended by about 5,000 students."
BBC News said hundreds of firefighters were battling the blaze, forcing authorities to close an eight-mile the Pacific Coast Highway.
The fire broke out early Thursday and had spread over 100 acres within hours, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported.
The National Weather Service on Thursday said there was an "extreme" fire danger to Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara through Friday due to wind, heat, low humidity and combustible material, reported the LA Times.
Here's their video: