santa paula

(Ventura County Fire Department photo)

One of the animal victims of Venura County's Maria brush fire is not only going to be okay, it's fast becoming a social media superstar.  An owl was spotted by some Ventura County firefighters on Saturday. Members of Hand Crew 12 were looking for hot spots near Somis when they saw the owl in a drainage area. They watched it for a few minutes, and realized it might have been injured by the blaze.

Firefighters continue to make major progress towards mopping up Ventura County's Maria brush fire, with containment now at 80% as of Monday morning.  The size of the fire hasn't grown for the last few days, with just over 9400 acres burned.

A more than 9,000 acre brush fire in Ventura County which prompted thousands of evacuations earlier in the week is now 50% contained on Sunday.  The Maria Fire started Thursday night on South Mountain, quickly spreading down from a mountain range to threatened areas like Somis and Santa Paula.  But, there is now no visible flames and very little smoke coming from the burn areas, as firefighters get the upper hand on the fire.

Firefighters are reporting progress in efforts to control a massive brush fire in Ventura County.

The 9400 acre Maria fire is 20% contained, up from 0% on Friday.  There was no visible flame from the fire in the Santa Paula area Saturday morning, just some light smoke. The area east of the city was a hot spot area midday Friday, as the fire tried to push across the Santa Clara Riverbed.  Firefighters on the ground aided by air tankers, and helicopters stopped the flareup of the blaze.

It’s been a nerve wracking week for tens of thousands of people in Ventura County who became evacuees as a result of mandatory evacuations due to the Easy, and Maria brush fires.

KCLU’s Lance Orozco was in a Santa Paula neighborhood Friday afternoon when hundreds of people were ordered to leave because of the surging Maria fire.

Firefighters were able to stop the flames, but for hundreds of residents of the neighborhood it was an experience they will never forget.  

A nearly nine thousand acre brush fire is burning out of control in Ventura County, with hot spots popping up and creating extra problems for firefighters. The Maria Fire started just after six p.m. Thursday on South Mountain. It began on the mountaintop, where there a number of broadcast and communication facilities. The flames were visible for miles.

(Photo courtesy Fady Shenoda)

A brushfire which started in the mountains of central Ventura County Thursday night quickly grew to 4,000 acres, and could get much bigger, but firefighters reassured residents it doesn't have the potential to become a monster blaze like the 2017 Thomas Fire.

The Maria Fire started just after 6 p.m. on South Mountain, in the area containing some broadcast and communications towers.  The wind quickly spread the flames, and because of its location, firefighters couldn't easily fight it.

(Ventura County Fire Department photo)

A new brush fire broke out in Ventura County Thursday night, creating highly visible flames and smoke coming off of South Mountain, between Moorpark and Santa Paula.

Ventura County firefighters say the Maria Fire was spotted just after 6 p.m.  It appeared to have started on the mountaintop where there a number of broadcast facilities.

Photo by Santa Paula Fire Department

For the first time in more than a century, one Ventura County community has a new fire department.

The Santa Paula Fire Department has been serving the city since 1903. But on Sunday morning, it officially became part of the Ventura County Fire Department.

Two men have been convicted of second degree murder charges in what Ventura County prosecutors call a gang related slaying.

Franky Magana and Omar Ruiz could each get life sentences for the May, 2013 killing of Ulises Virto in Santa Paula . Detectives say Magana, Ruiz, and a third still unidentified gunman drove up to a street corner where the victim was standing. The trio opened fire, hitting Virto with seven bullets. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The two Santa Paula men will be sentenced for the killing in March.

Authorities are investigating a deadly hit and run accident on the South Coast.

Santa Paula Police say around 5:30 Friday evening, officers responded to the 700 block of West Harvard Boulevard where they found a 74-year-old man in the middle of the roadway.

A group of young people is doing a cleanup as part of a large environmental restoration project on the South Coast.

About two dozen teenagers at the Santa Clara River in Santa Paula picked up trash -- paper, plastic bags, cans, cigarette butts…even a shopping cart.

A shooting on the South Coast has left three people injured.

Santa Paula Police say officers responded just before 3 a.m. Saturday to a trailer park in the 200 block of South Beckwith Road. An investigation determined that three people were confronted by two suspects before the shooting occurred.

A Ventura County man is now facing a murder charge after the person he’s accused of setting on fire died.

Santa Paula Police say the victim of the May 13th attack died at a Los Angeles Hospital earlier this week. He had burns to more than 50% of his body. The victim’s name hasn’t been released yet.

Jorge Chavez was arrested for the attack in Santa Paula’s Veterans Park, which involved the use of a flammable liquid. He was initially facing charges ranging from assault with a deadly weapon, to aggravated mayhem. Chavez pled not guilty.

A Ventura County community is looking at shutting down it more than century old fire department, and contracting with the county fire department to provide protection.

The Santa Paula City Council Tuesday night will look a proposal from the Fire Chief to consider using the Ventura County Fire Department in the city. In a staff report, officials say they anticipate the city won’t receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding they’ve received in the past which were critical in keeping the 15 person department fully staffed.

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