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Southern California fire forces thousands to flee homes


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SANTA PAULA, Calif(AP) - Ferocious winds in Southern California whipped up an explosive wildfire that prompted evacuation orders for nearly 8,000 homes, authorities said.The blaze broke out Monday and grew wildly to more than 48 square miles (124 sqkilometers) in the hours that followed, consuming vegetation that hasn't burned in decades, Ventura County Fire SgtEric Buschow said.At least 150 structures have burned so far, fire officials saidThere was no immediate word whether the structures were homes or businessesMore than 27,000 people have been evacuated and one firefighter was injuredThere was no word on the extent of the injuries.The winds were pushing it toward Santa Paula, a city of some 30,000 people about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Los AngelesMany of the evacuated homes were in that city.However, evacuation orders were expanded to houses in Ventura, which is 12 miles (19 kilometers) southwest and has 106,000 residents."The fire growth is just absolutely exponential," Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said"All that firefighters can do when we have winds like this is get out ahead, evacuate people, and protect structures."Thomas Aquinas College, a school with about 350 students, has also been evacuated, with students going to their own homes or to those of faculty and staff, the college said in a statement.One person was killed in an auto accident associated with the fire, officials saidThey gave no further details.Winds exceeding 40 mph and gusts over 60 mph have been reported in the area and are expected to continue, the National Weather Service saidFire officials said the winds increased overnight.Firefighters from neighboring Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties were pouring in to help.Nearly 180,000 customers in the Ventura county area were without power, Southern California Edison said on Twitter.All schools in the Ventura Unified School District will be closed on Tuesday. wnad_52.load(); if (Worldnow.EventMan) Worldnow.EventMan.event('WNCol2done'); if (Worldnow.EventMan) Worldnow.EventMan.event('WNCol23done'); wnad_43.load(); wnad_44.load(); Most Watched VideosMost Watched VideosMore>> Former Marathon County Dairy Princess to ask for prison releaseFormer Marathon County Dairy Princess to ask for prison releaseCrews fighting blaze on Wausau's west sideCrews fighting blaze on Wausau's west sideCrews are working to fight a fire that broke out at a cold storage facility on Wausau’s west side early Tuesday, according the Wausau Fire Department.More >>Crews are working to fight a fire that broke out at a cold storage facility on Wausau’s west side early Tuesday, according the Wausau Fire Department.More >>Area auto shop closing after 80 years, blames road projectArea auto shop closing after 80 years, blames road projectMcDill Auto Wrecking in Whiting is closing down its shop after 80 years. More >>McDill Auto Wrecking in Whiting is closing down its shop after 80 years. More >>Photo showing contractors with guns on city street causes firestormPhoto showing contractors with guns on city street causes firestormI WAKE UP LIKE THIS: No-Shave November makeoverI WAKE UP LIKE THIS: No-Shave November makeoverA Wausau man got a head-to-toe transformation Tuesday morning.More >>A Wausau man got a head-to-toe transformation Tuesday morning.More >>Tuesday Sports Report: Newman girls hoops improves to 4-1 with win over StratfordTuesday Sports Report: Newman girls hoops improves to 4-1 with win over StratfordMidday Weather December 6thMidday Weather December 6thTruckers For Tots stops in WausauMorning Weather December 6thMorning Weather December 6thWoman drove with traffic sign sticking out of car, NJ police sayWoman drove with traffic sign sticking out of car, NJ police say   var ds = new Worldnow.CustomizedBlock('DisplaySizeId78'); Worldnow.EventMan.event('displaysizeloaded',ds) if (Worldnow.EventMan) Worldnow.EventMan.event('WNCol4done');

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