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Breaking News

Wildfire Threatening Homes in Thousand Oaks, California

Aired December 26, 2000 - 10:00 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We will get to the ice storm in the Southwest in just a second. First, though, we're going to start -- go from ice to fire, and we have fire crews that are trying to get a handle on a fierce new fire in Southern California. It is a wind- driven blaze and it's burning in the Thousand Oaks area of Ventura County. The fire is moving dangerously close to luxury homes and other buildings.

Captain Rod Thompson from the Ventura County Police Department is now joining us on the phone with the latest on this fire.

Captain, good morning.

Captain Thompson, are you with us?

CAPTAIN ROD THOMPSON, VENTURA COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Good morning.

KAGAN: There you are. What the latest conditions in Thousand Oaks, please?

THOMPSON: Well, the wind has picked up a little bit; however, the fire doesn't seem to be quite as much a threat in our county. It is still drifting south, and our units are still blocking roadways and limiting access to the area to residents only.

KAGAN: Now, I don't know if you can see our pictures that we're showing here on CNN right now. It's courtesy of KTTV, Channel 11, in your area. The flames, at least from the helicopter shot that we're looking at, looks very close to homes.

THOMPSON: Yes. Some of them are going right to the backyards. However, the fire department and the locals have apparently done some excellence clearance as far as limiting the heavy brush, and it's just light grass up to the backs of most of these, which is -- goes right out.

KAGAN: So, that preparation did help out. Have we lost any homes so far?

THOMPSON: None that I've been made aware of.

KAGAN: And what about evacuations in the area? THOMPSON: We've been advised to do no evacuations yet. However, we have done some peremptory notifications to the public in homes which could possibly be threatened if the wind was to change.

KAGAN: And how many homes are we talking about in that case?

THOMPSON: Just a dozen or two at the very most. Again, the fire is moving toward the south into L.A. County, and the L.A. County sheriff is handling the notifications and issues in their area.

KAGAN: From there. And for folks not -- that are not familiar with Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, which I know from being from there is in that southern part of Ventura County, explain to folks where it is in relation to Los Angeles.

THOMPSON: Thousand Oaks is approximately 60 miles north of Los Angeles on highway 101. And it's in a mountainous area. It's very nice valley area with grass and shrub brush in those areas.

KAGAN: It is a beautiful area, but on a day like today that -- the same thing that makes it beautiful can also make it difficult when it comes to fire.

THOMPSON: You're so right.

KAGAN: And what about conditions today? Still very windy?

THOMPSON: Yes, it appears that it's very windy, and the wind picked up after sunrise, as they predicted.

KAGAN: Captain Rod Thompson from the Ventura County Police Department, thank you very much. We wish you well, and also the firefighters in that area.

We will continue to track the situation in Thousand Oaks as the sun comes up and that story does develop in Southern California.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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