CA wildfires live updates: New Maria Fire explodes to 8,000 acres overnight


Erin Donalson/iStock(SANTA PAULA, Calif.) — A new wildfire exploded in Southern California overnight, closing schools and forcing over 7,000 residents to evacuate.Wind gusted to 30 mph Friday morning at the site of the quickly-spreading Maria Fire. Coupled with 6 percent humidity, conditions are prime for fire danger.The Maria Fire broke out in Santa Paula in Ventura County shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday and has now grown to over 8,300 acres. The blaze is 0 percent contained.Aaron Lewis’ parents live in the area impacted by the Maria Fire and the family has an orchard there.He’s grateful his parents’ home survived, Lewis told ABC News, but “the fire completely burned through” the family’s property.He said the fire was about 1 mile away from his family’s field Thursday night and there was “zero wind.”But then the winds picked up, and within 10 to 15 minutes, “it was already on top of our property,” he said. “At first it was just kind of creeping along, then the flames grew higher and higher.””It’s kind of a complete rebuild,” he said.Lewis said a neighbor’s house wasn’t so lucky and was “fully engulfed” within minutes.”It was 300 yards away until fully engulfed in maybe five minutes,” he said. “If someone was actually at that house they would’ve had to run for their lives.”Hundreds of firefighters, who have been working around the clock, swarmed the scene.”They said they were on their eighth day straight,” Lewis said. “They did a fantastic job of making sure everyone was safe.”While critical fire weather conditions remain in Southern California Friday, with gusts reaching 35 mph, the winds will not be nearly as strong as they were on Wednesday and Thursday.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.