At least 50 people stood on the corner of Elmsbury Lane and Bell Canyon Boulevard on Friday night, many with their cellphones out to record the destruction unfolding to the west in Bell Canyon.
Flames were visible from the popular post, burning hot and orange along where the road winds into the small community.
Fire engines were stationed along the road into the community, just in case the fire tried to jump the road and head into West Hills. Burning trees and brush crackled and popped throughout the hillside.
A diner, a bridge, a mansion, a mobile home and a ranch were among the many structures that were destroyed by the Woolsey fire that swept through the Santa Monica Mountains on Friday.
More than two dozen structures were visible from Kanan Road, a long meandering roadway dotted with multimillion-dollar homes that connects Agoura Hills to the Pacific Ocean.
The total number of structures destroyed in the mountain communities is not known. At Kanan and Sierra Creek roads, a mailbox, two pillars, clay roof tiles and mangled kitchen appliances were left as charred rubble.
Eric Samways was walking his dog along East Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks Friday afternoon when he saw smoke rising from a small hill on a property nearby.
The house next to the smoke had burned down, and he wanted to make sure the fire wouldn’t spread. The 40-year-old tied his dog to a pole on the street and walked over to where two small logs had caught fire.
Samways knocked on someone’s door, borrowed buckets, filled them with water and got to work. After he put out the flames, he turned his attention to several larger logs that were smoldering, but not on fire.
The Camp fire exploded to 70,000 acres in a little over 24 hours and has destroyed as many as 2,000 homes across Butte County, officials said. Thousands of residents in Paradise and nearby Northern California communities have been forced to evacuate their homes.
As the blaze continued to chew through the landscape Friday afternoon, an outpouring of support for victims had begun.
Several nonprofit organizations announced they were accepting donations — either monetary or in the form of supplies for evacuees.