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Southern California wildfire devours homes as residents escape
Ferocious winds in Southern California have whipped up an explosive wildfire, prompting evacuation orders for thousands of homes.
Firefighters monitor a section of wildfire along the 101 freeway on Dec. 7, 2017 north of Ventura, California. The firefighters occasionally used a flare device to burn-off brush close to the roadside.
Strong Santa Ana winds are rapidly pushing multiple wildfires across the region, expanding across tens of thousands of acres and destroying hundreds of homes and structures.
A firefighter battles the Thomas Fire along Highway 33 in Ventura County on Dec. 5. A dramatic new wildfire erupted in Los Angeles early Wednesday as firefighters battled three other destructive blazes across Southern California.
A wildfire threatens homes as it burns along the 101 Freeway on Dec. 5, in Ventura. Southern California's Santa Ana winds have long contributed to some of the region's most disastrous wildfires. They blow from the inland toward the Pacific Ocean, speeding up as they squeeze through mountain passes and canyons.
Firefighters work to put out a blaze burning homes early on Dec. 5 in Ventura County. Authorities said the blaze broke out Monday and grew wildly in the hours that followed, consuming vegetation that hasn't burned in decades.
In the first 10 hours, the fire has already burned 31,000 acres and has forced more than 25,000 people to evacuate as one of the strongest Santa Ana winds forecast of the season is ongoing and expected to last several days.