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California wildfire burns 150 structures; winds increasing

A psychiatric hospital has burned in a raging wildfire in Southern California that has spread over 48 square miles and destroyed 150 structures in Ventura County, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Posted: Dec. 5, 2017 9:59 AM
Updated: Dec. 5, 2017 9:59 AM

SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on wildfires in Southern California (all times local):


6:20 a.m.

A psychiatric hospital has burned in a raging wildfire in Southern California that has spread over 48 square miles and destroyed 150 structures in Ventura County, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

A live view of Vista del Mar Hospital broadcast by KCBS-TV shows the structure in flames. The facility treats patients with mental health problems, chemical dependency and veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

The Los Angeles Fire Department says there's also a new fire on the north edge of the city that is threatening portions of the Sylmar and Lakeview Terrace neighborhoods.

The department says evacuations are now being coordinated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The fires are being spread by the region's notorious Santa Ana winds. Meteorologists say it's the strongest Santa Ana wind event so far this season.

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3:50 a.m.

A wind-whipped wildfire in Southern California has scorched 48 square miles, destroyed 150 structures and left one firefighter injured, and officials say winds are increasing.

Authorities say the blaze broke out Monday evening east of Santa Paula, which is about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

By early Tuesday, more than 27,000 people have been evacuated. It wasn't clear if the structures burned were homes or businesses. There was no immediate word on the extent of the firefighter's injury.

Earlier, evacuation orders were expanded to include homes in Ventura, a city with over 100,000 residents.

Officials say one person has died in an auto accident related to the fire, but did not give any details.

Southern California Edison says nearly 180,000 customers in the Ventura county area were without service.

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2 a.m.

Nearly 8,000 homes have been evacuated after a wind-whipped wildfire exploded overnight in Southern California.

Fire officials say the blaze broke out Monday evening east of Santa Paula, which is about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The flames reached about 40 square miles by early Tuesday.

Evacuation orders were expanded to include homes in Ventura, a city with over 100,000 residents.

The National Weather Service says gusts over 60 mph have been reported in the area and are expected to continue.

Sheriff's officials say two structures have burned so far. It wasn't clear if they were homes.

Officials say one person has died in an auto accident related to the fire, but did not give any details.

Southern California Edison says nearly 180,000 customers in the Ventura county area were without service.

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10 p.m.

Ferocious winds in Southern California whipped up an explosive wildfire, which forced more than 600 homes to evacuate.

Fire officials say the blaze broke out Monday east of Santa Paula, which is about 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The flames reached nearly 8 square miles just hours later.

Officials say one person has died in an auto accident related to the fire, but did not give any details.

Authorities say Ventura, a city of over 100,000 people 12 miles away, is expected to feel the effects of the fire soon.

Thomas Aquinas College, a school with about 350 students, has also been evacuated.

The National Weather Service says winds of 43 mph with gusts over 60 mph have been reported in the area and are expected to continue.

Sheriff's officials say two structures have burned so far. It wasn't clear what they were.

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