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The Latest: More evacuations as California raging fire

VENTURA, California. – The Latest on forest fires in Southern California (all times are local):

6:45 pm

Southern California authorities have ordered evacuations for the first time in Santa Barbara County as the crews protection of the coastal areas of a devastating forest fire that steadily marching west and northwest.

A key piece of the U.S. 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties was temporarily closed Thursday, flames jump lanes.

Residents of 300 homes in the coastal town of Carpinteria were ordered to leave before dawn. A few miles along the coast, the crews beat back flames creep down the hills in the direction of the coastal hamlet of La Conchita, in which at least one abandoned structure burned.

Los Angeles County firefighters watch for flare-ups, as they try to contain three major brands that destroyed homes and sent thousands fleeing.

Forecasters say a more favourable wind forecast still calls for potentially dangerous wind gusts in the region.

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5:15 pm

The authorities have closed a major highway, as flames from the largest and most destructive Southern California wildfire churn in the direction of the coast and the mountains, communities northwest of Los Angeles.

Calmer overnight winds Thursday helped crews protection of the Ventura County resort town of Ojai (OH hi), where most of the 7,000 residents are under evacuation orders.

The National Weather Service says a more favourable wind forecast still calls for potentially dangerous gusts, but aren’t likely to approach the historic levels, they had feared.

Officials closed U.s. 101 for more than a dozen miles along the coast, cutting off a major route between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, such as a fire charred heavy brush along the avenues.

Thousands of homes remain threatened by at least four major wildfires in Southern California that have destroyed structures and sent residents fleeing.

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