LOCAL CALIFORNIA

Multiple fires are raging in Southern California. A series of Santa Ana wind-driven wildfires have destroyed hundreds of structures, forced thousands to flee and smothered the region with smoke in what officials predicted would be a pitched battle for days.

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Ventura fire

Fire burns across 101 Freeway; all routes between Ventura and Santa Barbara closed

Communities both on the coast and inland were under threat from the Thomas fire. At 4 a.m., officials closed the 101 Freeway between Routes 126 and 150. According to the California Highway Patrol, that left no open routes between Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

The Thomas fire has scorched about 90,000 acres and carved a path of destruction that stretches more than 10 miles from Santa Paula to the Pacific Ocean.

As flames raged toward neighborhoods in Ojai, Carpinteria and Fillmore, officials issued new evacuation orders in Ojai Valley, notifying residents with an emergency cellphone alert. Authorities said they were helping residents of five assisted-living facilities evacuate, while people at Ojai Hospital were advised to shelter in place.

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