UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020
The Cornell Fire which sparked in a river bottom near Santa Paula earlier this week is 100% contained, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
The fire was first reported just after noon on Monday and was being pushed by strong winds as the entire area was under a Red Flag Warning for high fire risk.
Evacuations were temporarily put in place as the fire encroached near several structures. Firefighters were able to keep the flames at bay and evacuations were eventually canceled.
The Cornell Fire was the first fire in an overall busy week for Ventura County firefighters. Two more fires in the Ventura/Oxnard area sparked up the following day. Those fires, Perkin and Main, are 50% and 75% contained, respectively.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 10:30 a.m.
The Cornell Fire in Santa Paula is 20% contained as of Tuesday morning. The Ventura County Fire Department has also lifted all evacuation warnings.
Crews continue to work on extinguishing hotspots and will remain on the scene. At least 174 acres burned since Monday afternoon when the Cornell Fire started. Highway 126 was closed for a portion the day due to the fire and authorities responding. The highway has since reopened.
Strong Santa Ana winds helped push this fire. Those same winds are forecasted to taper off by later this afternoon.
The cause of the fire was determined to be a large tree blown over in the wind and hitting a power line, according to Ventura County Fire. No homes have been lost although several were threatened during the early hours of the fire fight.
SANTA PAULA, Calif. - A fire in a river bottom was being aided by heavy winds near Santa Paula.
The fire was first reported around 12 p.m. in the riverbed near South Mountain Road.
As of 2:52 p.m., Ventura County Fire said the burn had spread to 174 acres where it was being held.
As of Monday evening, the fire is 0% contained. 20% containment is expected by Tuesday morning.
The fire continues to be pushed by strong winds, driven into mulch and wood piles. The whole of Ventura County is currently under a Red Flag Warning due to high-risk fire conditions.
An evacuation warning was issued for the area surrounding Todd Road and Shell Road.
The Humane Society of Ventura County is also accepting animal evacuations for anyone in need at 402 Bryant St. in Ojai. You can reach them at 805-646-6505 if you are in need of assistance.
Freeway access to the 126 is closed in both directions at Briggs Road. South Mountain Road is also closed.
Alert WildFIRE cameras show large plumes of smoke billowing from the fire.
Currently, structures are threatened but fire crews have established protection lines around the structures.
We have a news crew en route and will update this story as we learn more.
More information about this fire and evacuation updates can be found at www.vcemergency.com.