‘The Whole World Was on Fire’: Infernos Choke California, Piling On th…


Western Ranch, a movie set that was built by Paramount Pictures and where the HBO series “Westworld” was filmed, burned down.

Thick columns of smoke rose into the azure Southern California skies as the so-called Woolsey Fire burned 14,000 acres west of Los Angeles. Residents in more than 75,000 homes in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties were told to evacuate.

The fire shut down the 101 freeway, a major transportation artery connecting Los Angeles with points north.

A separate, smaller fire in Griffith Park, near Burbank and Glendale, and not far from downtown Los Angeles, forced the temporary evacuation of some animals from the Los Angeles Zoo on the edge of the park.

And in Thousand Oaks, the road leading to the Borderline bar remained closed to the public Friday afternoon. Many of the officers keeping guard wore masks over their mouths to keep from inhaling the thick smoke hanging in the air. Down the street from the bar, some people packed luggage into cars in anticipation of a potential evacuation order later in the day.

For hours after the shooting, people crowded into the Thousand Oaks Teen Center, anxious to find out if their loved ones had survived. It was well past lunchtime before it began to empty out. But by midnight, it was crowded again — this time as a fire evacuation center. On Friday afternoon, officials watched as a fire moved through a nearby hillside.

Lonnie Schrader, a pastor in Thousand Oaks, said he and his family were hosting acquaintances who were evacuated from their homes on Friday. He expressed shock that the community had to pivot so quickly from Wednesday night’s shooting to fire preparation.

“Because it’s an emergency, you have to suck it up and do what you can, and you put your emotions on a shelf a little bit to process later,” he said. “I don’t know what in the world is going on.”


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