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Maria Fire Quickly Burns Through Thousand Of Acres, Prompts Halloween Night Evacuations In Ventura County

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Firefighters responded to a brush fire on the top of South Mountain, just south of Santa Paula. (Courtesy of Ventura County Fire Department PIO)
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A fast-moving fire that broke out on Halloween night in Ventura County has prompted mandatory evacuations near Santa Paula and Somis.

The Maria Fire started just after 6 p.m. on South Mountain and exploded to 4,000 acres by 9:30 p.m., with authorities warning that the fire was spreading rapidly. It was 0% contained as of late Thursday.

The Ventura County Fire Department said the mandatory evacuation zone was bounded by the 126 Freeway on the north, Los Angeles Avenue on the south, Vineyard on the west, and Balcom on the east.

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Maria Fire evacuation zone as of 10 p.m. Thursday. See the latest map >>

About 250 firefighters were on scene, supported by three water-dropping helicopters and more than 30 engines, which were positioning to defend homes, according to the fire department.

Crews will continue to work amid dangerous weather conditions. A red flag warning was extended through 6 p.m. Friday, with winds expected up to 25 mph, with gusts of up to 35 mph, and single-digit humidity, according to the National Weather Service.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

THE BASICS

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  • Acreage: 4,000 acres
  • Containment: 0%
  • Structures destroyed: N/A
  • Structures threatened: N/A
  • Resources deployed: 250 firefighters

EVACUATIONS

Mandatory:

  • North Boundary : South Mountain Road
  • West Boundary: West Los Angeles Ave
  • East Boundary: Balcom County Road
  • South Boundary: Highway 118

EVACUATION CENTER

For people:

  • Camarillo Community Center: 1605 Burnley St., Camarillo

For animals:

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  • Camarillo Animal Shelter (Small Animals): 600 Aviation Dr, Camarillo
  • Ventura County Fairgrounds (Large Animals): 10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura
  • Earl Warren Showgrounds (Large Animals): 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara

Note: This story will not be updated again until Friday morning. For the latest updates, follow the Ventura County Fire Department on Twitter and check vcemergency.com, where you can look up your address to see if you're in an evacuation zone.

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