Ventura County Gets Terrifying Emergency Evacuation False Alarm

A mistakenly televised broadcast warned Ventura residents to immediately clear out, without specifying any emergency

Ventura County residents got a frightening surprise Wednesday evening when a televised emergency broadcast warned residents to immediately evacuate Los Angeles, Eastern North Pacific Ocean, and Port Conception to Guadalupe areas. The broadcast itself is reported to have flipped screens quickly, making it difficult for viewers to process the vague details of the warning—which was issued by mistake, Deadline reports.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department was forced to issue an explanation, tweeting, “The evacuation notice that was received by some Ventura County Residents on television was sent in error by the County of Los Angeles. There is no threat to Ventura County at this time and no need for residents to evacuate.”

The error was made all the more concerning given the Castaic wildfires that threatened 200 homes and had expanded across 5,100 acres at the time.

The emergency evacuation orders were said to be effective until 8 p.m., and mentioned Ventura County. The information from authorities may be related to the Castaic brush fire that burned near the 5 Freeway north of Los Angeles in Ventura County, but the issuing authority did not specify it. That fire shut down the busy freeway in both directions.

The expanding fire led to multiple advisories, including a legitimate mandatory evacuation notice for Paradise Mobile Estates and communities south of Templin Highway along Upper Ridge Route Road. Governor Gavin Newsom has also declared a state of emergency in response to soaring temperatures that could lead to possible power outages across the state. 

The blaze had grown to 5,208 acres by Thursday night, according to the L.A. County Fire Department. Containment increased from 12 percent in the morning to 27 percent around 7:30 p.m.

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