Fast-moving Maria Fire rages in Ventura County

maria fire.jpeg
Posted at 10:07 PM, Oct 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 01:26:52-04

(AP) - Authorities have ordered evacuations for about 7,500 people as a wildfire burns on a hilltop north of Los Angeles.

The fire on South Mountain near Santa Paula erupted Thursday evening and quickly grew to over 6 square miles, or 4,000 acres.

Ventura County fire officials say it's threatening the unincorporated community of Somis, which has about 3,000 residents.

Evacuations have been called for a few nearby streets in the hilly area, where gusts are fanning the flames even as the winds ease in other areas of Southern California.

RELATED: Check weather conditions in the fire zone

The fire is driven by moderate winds that continue in some mountainous areas even as they have eased elsewhere in Southern California. Gusts fueled several wildfires in the Los Angeles area in recent days that burned homes and forced mass evacuations.

Hundreds of firefighters aided by helicopters and bulldozers are battling the flames and some are protecting homes.

Get information about evacuation centers, road closures, and more here.

S of 126 fwy
N of LA Ave
E of Vineyard
W of Balcom

— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) November 1, 2019