Firefighters battle Holser Fire in Piru area

A Los Angeles County Fire Department dozer crew heads up Oak Canyon Road toward the Holser Fire on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. Bobby Block/The Signal
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The fast-moving Holser Fire in the Piru area quickly grew to at least 1,100 acres Monday, as it burned east toward Los Angeles County. 

Just before 4 p.m., Ventura County Sheriff’s Department deputies began voluntarily evacuating 26 residences north to Lake Piru, south to Highway 126, excluding the community of Piru, east to the L.A. County line and west to Piru Road.

Ventura County Fire Department personnel first responded to reports of a vehicle fire that had spread to surrounding brush just south of Lake Piru on Holser Canyon Road, near Piru Canyon Road, around 2:15 p.m.

By 2:30 p.m., the blaze was reported to be 5 acres “in light, flashy fuels,” with winds pushing it east toward the L.A. County line, Ventura County Fire Department officials said in a tweet.

While aid was scarce due to the significant number of fires burning in California, L.A. County Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service and CalFire personnel were called in to assist, providing mutual aid to attack the fast-moving blaze. 

Aircraft, including helicopters and air tankers, were requested to assist in protecting homes in the area, with numerous resources being diverted from the Lake and Ranch2 fires. 

By 3:30 p.m., the fire had grown to at least 100 acres, with a potential for 1,000 acres, and by 4 p.m. the approximate acreage was at 250, with voluntary evacuations commencing.

At 4:30 p.m., firefighters said the fire had reached 400 acres, with structures threatened on Santo Felicia Road, which borders Lake Piru to the south. 

An hour later, Ventura County officials reported the blaze to have doubled in size, reaching approximately 800 acres, while acreage estimates grew to at least 1,100 another hour later, according to L.A. County Fire Department Supervisor Melanie Flores. Structures on Santo Felicia and Lechler roads remained threatened.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries and one resident was evaluated and released, according to VCFD officials. 

Through the evening and overnight, firefighters are expected to continue working hard on protecting structures and getting a good plan to secure the fire’s edge, taking advantage of the cooler temperatures and wind shifts.

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