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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Red flag warning, indicating extreme fire danger, extended through Saturday in Los Angeles and Ventura counties

A red flag warning has been extended through Saturday across much of Southern California as firefighters struggled to get a handle on several wildfires raging across the region. 

The warning, which indicates extreme fire danger due to gusty winds and low humidity, will be in effect through Saturday in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, where fires have scorched more than 80,000 acres and destroyed many homes. 

Weather officials expect winds to pick up Wednesday night through Thursday, bringing “damaging” gusts of 50 to 70 mph that could cause trees and power lines to fall, and fire to spread rapidly. They also warned of isolated gusts of up to 80 mph in the mountains. 

Winds will gradually weaken Friday and Saturday, officials said.

As of Wednesday morning, about 11,000 households were without power, according to Southern California Edison. Most of the outages were caused by the 65,000-acre Thomas fire burning in Ventura County.

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