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1 dead, hundreds evacuated in fast-moving California fire

Staff Writer |
Pushed by powerful Santa Ana winds, a Southern California fire spread with explosive speed to 10,000 acres on Monday night, forcing hundreds to evacuate in the dark, CNN reported.

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One person died in a rollover car crash while trying to evacuate from the fire, said Mark Lorenzen, Ventura County Fire chief in a press briefing Monday night.

More than 1,000 homes are under mandatory evacuation as fire officials warned that the powerful winds could turn the flames toward the city of Santa Paula and Ventura. Officials warned that they expected the fire to impact East Ventura early Tuesday.

At least two structures have been lost in

the fire, Lorenzen said. Ventura County Sheriff deputies were knocking on doors, telling residents to evacuate in the affected areas.

The fire also burned down power lines, causing widespread outages in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, Susan Cox, spokeswoman for Southern California Edison said. More than 260,000 people in the two counties were without power.

The brush fire, called the Thomas Fire, was reported at Steckel Park, which is just north of Santa Paula, according to initial reports to the Ventura County Fire Department.

It ignited as officials had earlier warned of extreme fire danger in the area due to the Santa Ana winds, blowing as fast as 40 to 60 mph.

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