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Wildfire forces thousands to flee homes north of Los Angeles

Wildfire forces thousands to flee homes north of Los Angeles

Some 7,700 households in Ventura County, California, about 70 miles (115 km) northwest of Los Angeles, were told to leave as the 25,000-acre wildfire, known as the Thomas Fire, burned dry brush after erupting earlier on Monday evening, Ventura County officials said on Twitter. Hundreds of firefighters were on the scene, but the fast-moving wildfire proved difficult to slow because of Santa Ana winds that gusted up to 50 mph and allowed the flames to travel rapidly.

He doesn't have a cellphone and he has been sleeping in the back of his truck. And I have the cat carrier by the door and some coveted things that I don't want to lose.

"Very strong winds" blowing from the northeast to the southwest were causing the fire to balloon, he said, warning Angelenos to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. And this is a big change from this morning when the fire was in the upper Ojai Valley.

No fatalities have been reported, but one firefighter was injured in the Ventura County fire as nearly 1,000 people fought to control the blaze.

The blaze has grown with astonishing speed. I locked them in the house today.

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The mayor says the fire is now 150 acres with zero containment.

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Two homes are burning in a wildfire that has erupted in an exclusive ridge-top neighbourhood in Los Angeles, the latest to hit fire-plagued Southern California.

Evacuee Lorie Denis, 56, stared at the devastation late Tuesday morning as firefighters poured water on the blackened hull of the Harbor View Apartments in the foothills above downtown Ventura. Air from high pressure areas blows down toward the Pacific Ocean, speeding up, drying out as they squeeze through mountain passes and canyons.

"We have stables all throughout these hills", Fisher said.

The difference between then and now is population, dense housing and location, Patzert and Spelman noted.

"One of the downsides living in California", he said of the wildfire danger.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities or civilian casualties, Welsbie said. On Tuesday, it was described as 5 percent contained by local fire officials.