On October 31, 2019 the Maria Wildfire fire started on a mountaintop in Ventura County. Strong Santa Ana winds quickly blew the blaze out of control, burning more than 6,000 acres and forcing thousands of evacuations.
KCLU was on the air within the hour, and provided live coverage during the critical hours all night long. We provided updates during the next 72 hours, until the threat eased and people were allowed to go home.
This composite includes some of our live field coverage during the first 24 hours, and a wrap from a threatened neighborhood. In addition to the on-air coverage, I was busy all night long updating our website, kclu.org, and our Twitter feed.
Our coverage also comes in the heels of another brush fire in the county just two days earlier, which also forced thousands of evacuations. I had literally just wrapped up 36 hours of coverage of the first fire (the Easy Fire) and was getting gas for my news car when the second fire started. I am News Director, but also the only full-time newsperson, so I also do all of our field reporting. It was a crazy week!