Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

California wildfire: Thousands evacuated in Ventura County

California wildfire: Thousands evacuated in Ventura County

The fire chief said one death had been reported.

Fire crews from Northern California were dispatched south, as Cal Fire moved 10 fire trucks and be pre-positioned to south of the Tehachapis.

The fire started north of Santa Paula and burned into the Ventura city limits, pushed by strong east winds. Most of the evacuated homes were in that city. The flames were driven by Southern California's dry and gusty Santa Ana winds, which have contributed to some of the region's most disastrous wildfires. "Really mother nature is going to decide when we have the ability to put it out because it is pushing hard".

One person was killed in a auto crash while trying to evacuate from the fires, Ventura County Fire chief Mark Lorenzen said in a news conference, according to CNN. Lorenzen added that all firefighters can do at this stage is try and get ahead of the fire and protect structures.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Ventura and Los Angeles, saying wind gusts between 50 and 70 miles per hour are likely through Thursday.

"The fire is still out of control and structures continue to be threatened throughout the fire area", county emergency officials said in statement.

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The fire also struck some key transmission lines, knocking out power to tens of thousands of customers.

It is believed that the fire broke out close to Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, some 80km north of Los Angeles, early on Monday morning.

A fast moving wildfire engulfed an estimated 25,000 acres in less than seven hours in Southern California's Santa Barbara and Ventura counties on December 5.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Shelters have been set up a local school and county fairgrounds for evacuees.

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