Gusty winds have contributed to the rapid spread of a brush fire in southern California, threatening lives and property in Ventura country.
As of Saturday morning, the Solimar Fire had burned 1200 acres and was less than 10 percent contained by the Ventura County Fire Department.
The rapid growth of the fire has prompted evacuations and the closure of the 101 Freeway in both directions. More evacuations may be ordered as the fire continues to spread across the hilly, drought-striken terrain.
Holiday travelers in southern California that were planning on driving on the 101 Freeway should use Highway 150 as an alternative route until the freeway is reopened.
Hundreds of firefighters are on the scene battling the blaze with helicopters and air tankers fighting the flames from the air.
Fortunately, there have not been any reports of injuries or the destruction of structures since early Friday night when the fire began.
Weather conditions are expected to improve over the next several days which should help firefighters increase the containment of the Solimar Fire.
Winds should diminish for Sunday after gusty winds blew across the area on Saturday. This should allow crews to gain ground on containing the blaze.
Monday may bring a slight increase in wind gusty, but it will also bring the chance of a few showers to Ventura County.
At this time, the cause of the brush fire is still under investigation.
A fire whirl occurs on the #SolimarFire in Ventura County Saturday. pic.twitter.com/MjWShH1Wvg— SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) December 26, 2015