Politics

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Surrounded by California Wildfires and High Winds

'This is really serious stuff,' said the executive director of the institution on Wednesday morning

Image Credit: Library of Congress

Mandatory evacuations were ordered on Wednesday morning in southern California, Fox News is reporting, as a quickly moving wildfire ignited and burned in Simi Valley — right near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

The Ventura County Fire Department said the so-called Easy Fire was reported around 6 a.m. on Wednesday in the 200-block area of West Los Angeles Avenue, which is located near the 118 Freeway and Madera Road in Simi Valley, in northwest Los Angeles, the same outlet reported.

The flames appeared to be burning mostly vegetation north of the library, which is located close to some residential areas.

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A spokesperson from the Reagan Library told Fox News on Wednesday morning that the hilltop library would be closed throughout the day on Wednesday due to conditions created by the fires.

The executive director of the library, John Heubusch, told the television channel, “This is really serious stuff.”

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The flames have burned over 1,300 acres already, Fox also reported on Wednesday, with some 6,500 homes threatened.

Fast-moving flames are very close to the Reagan Library, which opened in November 1991.

Said Heubusch to Fox News this morning, “It’s a bit of a war zone, unfortunately.”

He said, yes, there “is a ring of fire” around the library.

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“This is a national treasure here,” he said, noting that fire officials are doing their very best and doing a “heroic job” to fight the blaze.

The library, in Simi Valley, boasts a number of permanent exhibitions, including the “same Air Force One that flew President Reagan over 660,000 miles — to 26 foreign countries and 46 U.S. states,” the website of the library notes.

The “experience” of the library includes “hundreds of artifacts and dozens of interactive displays for visitors of all ages to explore … Eighteen galleries pay tribute to America’s 40th president and his accomplishments by capturing his patriotic spirit, his respect for individual liberty, his belief in global democracy and his support of economic opportunity,” the website also notes.

Firefighters and trucks surrounded the library — and protection measures were being taken on the Air Force One side of the facility, according to a spokesperson, as a Fox News update noted.

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This article has been updated.

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