(Photo courtesy USFS)
UPDATED AT 6 PM THURSDAY)--Firefighters have made significant progress on gaining the upper hand on four small brushfires in the Los Padres National Forest near the Upper Ojai.
The four fires broke out shortly before 7 PM Wednesday along a popular hiking trail about a half mile from the Punch Bowls northeast of Thomas Aquinas College.
As of 6 PM Thursday the fires had burned a combined 35 acres and were 50 percent contained.
Hand crews on the ground were being aided by water dropping helicopters and the weather, while warm, was still in their favor.
The fire is burning in Santa Paula Canyon far away from any structures.
The one problem area is one of the fires burning around unstable rocks creating a danger for firefighters on the ground.
The USFS has taken control of the fire.
One firefighters suffered a minor injury.
On Wednesday after the fire broke out 14 hikers were trapped and were safely rescued.
Simi Valley police say two men have been arrested in connection with a series of burglaries at pawn shops and jewelry stores in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.
The break-ins were elaborate and involved cutting through rooftops and walls and breaching large steel and cement safes.
Some of the crimes happened in Simi Valley, Ventura, Apple Valley and Redlands between July 2016 and November 2016 with a total loss to the victims of more than $1 million.
On Wednesday, search warrants were executed in Temple City and La Puente and two suspects were arrested, 50-year-old Rafael Morales and 50-year-old Jesus Rios.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday.
The search warrant operation was conducted by 31 detectives from Simi PD, Ventura PD and the Ventura County Auto Theft Task Force.
They say that evidence was seized related to the break-ins, but not the vast amount of stolen jewelry.
They believe that likely was already sold.
The seven month investigation began on December 10th of last year when a Simi Valley pawn shop was burglarized.
Detectives believe there are other suspects and the investigation continues.
UPDATE---Oxnard police have identified the victim of the city's 11th homicide of this year.
They say that 24-year-old Albert Salazar of Oxnard was shot shortly before 7:30 PM Wednesday in the 1300 block of West Guava Street near Ventura Road.
Police say after the shooting, Salazar was brought by two individuals in a private vehicle to the Oxnard Police Headquarters on C Street.
He was then rushed to VCMC by ambulance where he died.
The Major Crimes Unit spent the night going over the crime scene and investigating.
They say the motive for the murder is unknown but gang motivation has not been ruled out.
No word on suspects.
(Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire)
UPDATE---Hand crews spent the night trying to contain brushfires burning in the Los Padres National Forest north of Santa Paula near the Upper Ojai area.
The "Canyon" Fire was actually four separate fires in a canyon about a half mile from the popular "Punch Bowls" area northeast of Highway 150, a few miles from Thomas Aquinas College.
By Thursday morning they had burned a combined total of 20 acres.
Firefighters say water dropping helicopters are joining the hand crews Thursday.
Increased smoke and flames will be seen but for now the fire was staying within the canyon but it could move based on topography.
However no structures are threatened and there does not appear to be concern about any potential threat to populated areas.
About a 75 firefighters spent the night on the ground working to build containment lines and knock down the flames.
One firefighters suffered a minor injury.
Cause under investigation.
Updated--Oxnard police are investigating that city's 11th homicide of this year.
They say that around 7:35 PM Wednesday a vehicle showed up in the parking lot of police headquarters on C Street with three people inside.
Two of the people got out and started banging on the door asking for help.
When officers investigated they found a male adult shooting victim in the car.
He was taken to VCMC where he died.
The victim has been identified as 24-year-old Albert Salazar of Oxnard.
Police say shooting happened in the 1300 block of West Guava Street near Ventura Road just prior to the victim being taken to the police station.
The Major Crimes Unit is now investigating what happened.
No word on suspects or a motive.
A Ventura County jury Wednesday convicted an Oxnard man in the shooting death of another man more than 11 years ago.
The panel took less than one day of deliberations to find 32-year-old Isaac Sinsun guilty of first degree murder.
He now faces 25-years-to-life in prison when he is sentenced on August 22nd.
On November 13, 2005 Oxnard police responded to a report of a gunshot victim in the 900 block of Richmond Avenue.
They found 48-year-old Joaquin Castaneda down in the roadway.
He was pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head.
His car had been stolen and was later recovered.
Investigators believed the killing was linked to a series of robberies that involved Sinsun and others but the investigation took years.
Sinsun was arrested in March of last year and admitted to being involved, but not to being the shooter.
Prosecutors decided not to charge him with being the actual shooter and they also decided not to charge him in connection with any of the robberies.
They believe there are other suspects but no other arrests have been made.
Updated--The California Highway Patrol is seeking public help in locating the driver in a fatal hit & run crash in Ventura that happened earlier this month.
It was around 11:45 PM on July 6th when two vehicles collided on the northbound 101 Freeway north of Victoria Avenue in Ventura.
They say that 48-year-old John McVicker of Ventura was driving his 2011 Audi S5 at a high rate of speed when he lost control and collided with a 2013 Toyota Prius driven by 69-year-old John Slade of Ojai.
McVicker's Audi continued out of control, through a guardrail and rolled onto it side.
The CHP says McVicker fled on foot, leaving behind his Audi, a passenger in his car and a badly injured Slade in the Prius.
Slade was taken to VCMC where he died the next morning from injuries sustained in the crash.
Slade was a well known and beloved actor, director and drama teacher in Ventura County http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0805181/
Meanwhile, there was an extensive search of the area for McVicker but he was not found.
An arrest warrant has been issued for McVicker for felony hit and run.
McVicker is a white male, 6 feet tall, 225 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes (see photo).
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Patrick John McVicker is asked to contact CHP’s Ventura Area office at (805) 662-2640.
An investigation is underway after the discovery of a body in the water north of Channel Islands Harbor.
Oxnard police say around 1 PM Tuesday a boater in the 2500 block of Monaco Drive in the Mandalay Bay community spotted a body in the channel.
The Channel Islands Harbor Patrol was notified, as was Oxnard police and fire.
The Harbor Patrol retrieved the body and emergency medical personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene.
They say he is a 95-year-old Ventura resident.
It will be up to the Medical Examiner to determine cause and manner of death and for police to investigate.
(Photo courtesy OPD)
Oxnard police are seeking public help as they try to identify and locate the driver who killed an elderly pedestrian early Tuesday morning.
The incident happened shortly after 5 AM at the intersection of Cooper Road and Roosevelt Avenue.
The victim, 74-year-old Salvador Luna of Oxnard, was crossing at the intersection when he was struck by the vehicle.
He was rushed to VCMC where he died.
No other details are available right now.
It is unknown if alcohol and/or drugs are involved. The collision is still under investigation. Anyone who has information about this collision is urged to contact Officer Jose Diaz at (805) 200-5668 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photos courtesy OPD)
A Ventura woman has been arrested in connection with an armed robbery at an Oxnard business.
Oxnard police say that around 10:20 PM on June 21st a suspect walked into the Dairy Queen at 1941 Rose Avenue and asked the employee for an ice cream cone.
According to police, the suspect then lifted her shirt, display a gun and demand cash in large bills in a paper bag.
The employee complied and the woman fled with an undisclosed amount of money.
The Oxnard PD's Violent Crimes Unit investigated and Tuesday they arrested 37-year-old Casey Alvarado of Ventura for second degree robbery.
Detectives say they also recovered a gun and other evidence they allege is tied to the crime.
(Photos by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire)
Governor Brown Sunday declared a state of emergency for the Whittier Fire in Santa Barbara County.
The Whittier Fire has burned more than 18,000 acres since it broke out on June 8th south of Lake Cachuma.
It has destroyed 16 residences and 30 outbuildings.
Highway 154 was reopened Sunday and some of the evacuation orders have been downgraded to warnings.
The fire is 49% contained as more than 2200 personnel continued to battle winds, heat and dry weather to stop the blaze and get a line around it.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
For more information and updates go to: http://countyofsb.org
UPDATED---Deputies have made an arrest in connection with a stabbing in Moorpark Sunday afternoon.
They say that 30-year-old Jordan Valle of Moorpark was arrested for attempted murder and booked into the Ventura County Jail.
They say that shortly before 12:30 PM, deputies, fire and ambulance personnel responded to the 4500 block of N. Canyonlands Road.
It's a residential neighborhood in the Peach Hill section of Moorpark.
When they arrived they were told that a stabbing victim had already been taken to Los Robles Medical Center in Thousand Oaks suffering from stab wounds.
Deputies say the wounds to the 36-year-old male victim were non-life threatening.
Deputies say the two men know each other and this was not a random act of violence.
(Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire Department)
UPDATED--Firefighters and state beach lifeguards rescued a man who fell onto the rocks below Pacific Coast Highway south of Sycamore Canyon Sunday.
It happened around 5 PM.
The 64-year-old man was suffering back pain but was conscious and breathing.
Because of the angle of the rocks a ladder truck was used to help get the man back up to the roadway to a waiting ambulance.
During the operation, PCH was down to one lane with traffic being alternated one direction at a time.
The incident was over in about two hours.
No other details were released.
(Photos by Mike Eliason Santa Barbara County Fire)
UPDATE--SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an emergency proclamation for Santa Barbara County due to the effects of the Alamo and Whittier fires, which have burned thousands of acres, damaged agriculture, businesses and critical infrastructure including power lines, threatened homes and caused the evacuation of residents.
Updated--The Whittier Fire, burning for more than a week in Santa Barbara County, has grown to more than 18,000 acres.
The growth since Friday lowered its containment to 36% from 52%.
They've also revised upward the number of structures that were destroyed during the early hours of the fire on July 8th to 17 residences and 36 outbuildings.
The flames continue to edge out on three flanks aided by windy, dry and warmer weather as well as steep terrain and thick vegetation that has not burned for more than 60 years.
Effective immediately the following closure has been lifted:
· Highway 154, from Cathedral Oaks Road on the east side, to Armour Ranch Road on the west
The following Evacuation Orders have been reduced to an Evacuation Warning:
· Paradise Road, from Highway 154 to the first river crossing.
· Cachuma Village
The following Evacuation Orders remain valid:
· West Camino Cielo at Highway 154 to Winchester Gun Club and Kinevan Road
· Rosario Park and all of Stagecoach Road
· All of Winchester Canyon Road excluding the community of Wagon Wheel, Langlo Ranch Road and Winchester Commons, west to El Capitan Ranch Road
· Calle Real north to West Camino Cielo, from Winchester Canyon Road on the east to El Capitan Ranch Road on the west. This includes all roads and trails within the area of the order
Here is information as of Sunday morning regarding evacuations...
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5339/ and http://countyofsb.org