"During the peak of the Santa Anas on Monday, there is the potential for damaging wind gusts of between 50-70 miles per hour across wind-prone areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, with isolated gusts of 80 mph possible in the mountains, " the NWS Red Flag Advisory intoned.
One person died in a auto crash trying to evacuate the fire that first broke out Monday night.
Now it is threatening the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura, officials say. "All that firefighters can do when we have winds like this is get out ahead, evacuate people, and protect structures". The smaller fire on the northern edge of Los Angeles also burned some homes, but no estimates were released. Numerous evacuated homes were in that city.
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"The fire is pushing quickly towards the city of Ventura", Lorenzen said, and has reached the eastern city limits.
Two buildings have been destroyed and thousands of homes are without power, according to reports.
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. 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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"I'm not going to wait around for someone to come rescue me so I'm outta here", said June Byrum.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
Power company Southern California Edison tweeted that about 180,000 households were blacked out in and around Ventura County, with another 83,000 without power further north in Santa Barbara County, with no estimate of when service could be restored.
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Shelters have been set up a local school and county fairgrounds for evacuees.