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The Latest: Firefighters extinguish hot spots as winds whip

LOS ANGELES – The Latest on forest fires of California (all times are local):

6:15 pm

Firefighters are dousing hot spots as winds increase that could blow embers and cause flare-ups on the huge wildfire still smoldering northwest of Los Angeles.

The blaze entered the 18th day, on Thursday, is 60 percent contained and is now the second largest in the history of California. Officials say that the rising wind allowing it to grow in the state’s largest fire ever.

Fire spokesman Brandon Vaccaro says crews are to re-structure to offer protection above the hill communities in Santa Barbara County. In the neighboring Ventura County, firefighters are attacking a stubborn section of the fire from the air, because the terrain in the vicinity of the city of Fillmore is too rugged for a ground.

Since it began on Dec. 4, the wind-whipped blaze has burned hundreds of homes, and the blame for the death of a firefighter and an evacuee.

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