SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) — Ferocious winds in Southern California made a wildfire explode to nearly 4 square miles just hours after it broke out and forced the evacuation of more than 400 homes.
Ventura County fire officials say the blaze broke out Monday east of Santa Paula, a city of 30,000 people about 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Powerful winds are pushing the blaze west toward the city along Highway 150, which is shut down. Thomas Aquinas College, a school with about 350 students, has also been evacuated.
The National Weather Service says winds of 43 mph with gusts over 60 mph have been reported in the area and are expected to continue into the night. There are not yet any reports of structures burning or people injured.