'Out-of-Control' Fire Torches Southern California, Forcing Thousands to Evacuate

Thousands of people were forced to flee their homes in Los Angeles, as a wildfire rips through the region.

"All that firefighters can do when we have winds like this is get out ahead, evacuate people, and protect structures".

Audio will be available later today. The fire, named the Thomas Fire, began in a canyon north of the city of Santa Paula, about 65 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

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"The fire is still out of control and structures continue to be threatened throughout the fire area", county emergency officials said in statement. Authorities initially reported one death, but then retracted that, saying a dead dog but no person was found in an overturned vehicle.

"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.

Evacuation orders were expanded to include homes in Ventura, a city 12 miles south-west of Santa Paula, with more than 100,000 residents.

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"We've been here nearly 30 years we've gone through floods, gone through fires, it's just the wind, you don't know where it's going to go", added Chula Casas.

The fire took hold in the early evening in southern California's Ventura county and burned through 10,000 acres within just a few hours.

"It's always hard and somewhat unsafe to fly at night, so depending on different conditions and the geographic challenges is how they evaluate whether or not they can operate at night", Ventura County firefighter Jason Hodge told the Los Angeles Times.

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Mandatory evacuated were placed for more than 700 homes in the area, the fire has also led to the evacuation of a nearby college.

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