Hundreds evacuated after massive brush-fire burns through parts of California

With gusts of wind of up to 70mph the fire spread rapidly leading to the evacuation of at least 1,000 homes

The red flag fire warning prompted by gusty Santa Ana winds and low humidity levels remained in effect Tuesday for much of San Diego County as a wildfire driven by similar conditions tore through Ventura County north of Los Angeles.

"Due to the intensity of the fire, crews are having trouble making access and there are multiple reports of structures on fire".

Further to the homes, the Santa Paula Unified School District announced Monday night that all schools in the city will be closed on Tuesday due to the blaze. "All that firefighters can do when we have winds like this is get out ahead, evacuate people, and protect structures". More than 800 homes were evacuated there.

"It was just exponential, huge growth because the winds, 50 mile an hour out of the east, were just pushing it and growing it very, very large, very quickly", Lorenzen said shortly after sunrise. By midnight, the fire was estimated to have reached 10,000 acres.

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The National Weather Service said winds of 43 miles per hour with gusts over 60 miles per hour were reported in the area and were expected to continue. Already, 27,000 people have been evacuated, and the dry conditions and high winds forecast through at least Thursday are expected to significantly expand the affected area.

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

Authorities in Ventura County, on the Pacific Coast just north of Los Angeles, declared an emergency and said they planned to use fixed wing aircraft and helicopters against the "fast moving, active brush fire".

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.

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