Industry businesses and community affected by fires ripping through Ventura

Ventura is under siege. Wildfires that started Monday continue to rip through large parts of the county, and are currently burning more than 65,000 acres. The fires are so massive, the smoke plumes can be seen from 438 miles out in space.

Recognized as one of the finest surf towns, the Ventura community is home to many within the surf industry, including several prominent businesses like Patagonia and Pro-Lite, as well as Channel Islands Surfboards’ manufacturing facility, which is just up the road.

Related: California wildfire rages through surf-centric town of Ventura

ALL FIRE UPDATE ⬇️ #skirballfire: brush fire erupted near the Getty Center early Wednesday morning, prompting officials to issue mandatory evacuations in the Bel-Air area of Los Angeles and shut down a major portion of the 405 Freeway. The fire had burned about 125 acres as of 9:30 a.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart and video from the scene showed at least one home burning in the blaze. ・・・ #thomasfire: erratic fire in Ventura County that has burned in several cities has grown to 65,000 acres after jumping the 101 Freeway, authorities said Wednesday. As the "out of control" fire is being pushed by gusty east winds, about 12,000 structures continue to be threatened, the Ventura County Fire Department reported. ・・・ #creekfire: brush fire burning in the foothills above Sylmar, Lake View Terrace and Sunland-Tujunga scorched 11,000 acres, burned at least 30 structures and forced more than 100,000 people to evacuate their homes Tuesday. By late afternoon, a state of emergency had been declared in both the city and county of Los Angeles, which had sent firefighters on Monday to battle the much larger Thomas Fire in Ventura County. ・・・ #ryefire: 5,000-acre brush fire in Santa Clarita remained at 5 percent containment Tuesday evening, prompting authorities to issue an advisory to residents of nearby Simi Valley. The fire could reach the Simi Valley area due to heavy winds, the Simi Valley Police Department said in a statement. ・・・ Click the link in our bio for all the latest updates on the SoCal fires. #ktla #socal #fire #ventura #losangeles

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Much of the community is under the gun to evacuate to designated safe spots, including Ventura County Fairground, which is only minutes from the Patagonia campus in downtown Ventura. According to industry sources, many in the area have fled further north to Santa Barbara and neighboring communities to take refuge.

Related: Checking in at Patagonia headquarters

Patagonia employees were instructed to evacuate Tuesday. The company was not able to comment further on the fires at this time, but said they will keep us abreast of what’s happening in the coming days.

Pro Lite’s office is located just south of downtown Ventura, and many of its employees have been evacuated or are under evacuation warning from their homes. They made a decision to close the office Wednesday for the day.

“The good news is that everyone is safe, [we are] just all watching the fire updates,” said Pro-Lite Director of Sales Michael ‘Hendo’ Henderson.

No less than a dozen of Channel Islands’ employees have been evacuated from their homes, said CI General Manager Scott Anderson. “The fire is moving southwest towards the factory and we are sending most people home and preparing for evacuation of the facility,” Anderson said.

With high winds whipping through the region, and the fire zero percent contained at this time, our thoughts are with everyone in Ventura and its neighboring communities.

For now, we have put together a quick list of what you can do to help those who have been affected and/or displaced. TransWorld Business will provide more updates as they become available.

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