Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 28 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Wenceslaus
home iconNews
line break icon

One acre lost per second: Winds drive deadly flames in California


John McColgan | USDA | Public Domain

J-P Mauro - published on 12/05/17 - updated on 12/05/17

Over 1,000 firefighters still battling the blaze. Many evacuees stuck in gridlock.

A brushfire which began in Steckel Park, just north of Santa Paula, has been spreading at a rapid pace into the town of Ventura. Thousands of acres have gone up in smoke due to the powerful Santa Ana winds, which originate from cool, dry high-pressure air masses in the Great Basin, and have been moving the fire with up to 60 mph winds. The fire has consumed about 45,000 acres of land in just 13 hours.

YouTube videos are being posted, and they show the evacuation of Ventura: deadlocked traffic as many of the 100,000 residents attempt to leave the city, and find themselves slowed to a crawl. The landscape is lit by the powerful inferno that in places threatens the very roads they drive on.

CNN reports that the fire began at 6:30 pm on Monday. By early Tuesday morning, it was spreading at a speed of an acre per second. 27,000 residents are under mandatory evacuation protocol, but many more are fleeing the area as reports claim the fire could spread deeper into the city. There has been one confirmed fatality due to an overturned car.

Early Tuesday morning, the fire burned through power lines and left more than a quarter-million people without electricity. The grid has since been repaired, but more than 20,000 remain without power.

The late-night origin of the fire made it difficult for authorities to stem the fast moving blaze. About 1,000 firefighters are still at work, trying to put an end to this natural disaster before more homes or lives are lost.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Fr. Michael Rennier
The purpose of life according to J.R.R. Tolkien
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
crisis man
Marzena Devoud
Advice from 3 monks for overcoming acedia
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Christ and the woman taken in adultery
Daniel Esparza
What Jesus wrote
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.