Ferocious winds in Southern California whipped up an explosive wildfire that forced thousands of homes to evacuate and could soon threaten a city of more than 100,000, authorities said.
Officials say one person has died in an auto accident related to the fire, but did not give any details.
The brush fire, which is called the Thomas Fire, was first reported in Steckel Park, which is just north of Santa Paula. Within a few hours, the fire had jumped to at least 10,000 acres as it scorched through steep terrain.
At least two structures have burned so far, sheriff’s officials said.
Winds exceeding 40 mph and gusts over 60 mph have been reported in the area and are expected to continue, the National Weather Service said.