86.6 F
San Fernando
Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Wildfires Cause Hotel Evacuations, Freeway Closures

Two wildfires straddling Los Angeles and Ventura counties have caused mass evacuations of homes and businesses in areas from Calabasas to Malibu. The Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire both broke out Thursday afternoon. The Woolsey Fire is the larger of the two having burned 14,000 acres south of Simi Valley by early Friday afternoon as strong Santa Ana winds whipped through the area, sending the flames south of the 101 freeway. The Hill Fire has burned about 6,000 acres between |Newbury Park and Camarillo. Both fires have caused closures of the 101 freeway. The Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, at 2 Dole Drive, and the Homewood Suites by Hilton Agoura Hills, at 28901 Canwood St., were among the businesses being evacuated. Homewood Suites General Manager Vincent Singletary said the hotel had been fully booked having taken in residents evacuated from their homes until the mandatory evacuation notice required them to check out. Other hotels in the San Fernando Valley have also found themselves at capacity with evacuees. Michael Wilding, general manager of the Hilton Woodland Hills/Los Angeles hotel, said that capacity was high to begin with headed into the weekend. “There are rooms opening up here and there and we try to accommodate people,” Wilding added. Cynthia Ordyke, vice president of sales and marketing for the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City hotel, said she had been hearing updated evacuation numbers every hour that will put a heavy demand on all hotels in Los Angeles. “We have had numerous calls including from the fire departments for guest rooms as well as the city of Los Angeles reaching out,” Ordyke said. Hilton also has a property in Simi Valley that was sold out on Thursday afternoon, she added. “I think they were at 60 percent occupancy and ended up selling out because they are not that far from Thousand Oaks,” Ordyke said. The Four Seasons evacuation resulted in the cancellation of the Taste of Conejo event sponsored by the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce. Also, the Los Angeles Rams football team cancelled its practice at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks due to the fires.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Featured Articles

Related Articles