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Massive Wildfire Burns in Ventura, Highway Shutdown, Residents Evacuated

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 26 (UPI) — A major highway along the coast of California was shut down and dozens of homes evacuated in a brush fire that has consumed more than 1,200 acres.

The fire, fueled by 15- to 20-mph winds, began in the Solimar Beach area of California’s Ventura County about 11 p.m. on Friday. It quickly spread along the coast, moving firefighters to shut down U.S. Route 101, known locally as Highway 101, a major freeway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“It’s still a dynamic situation and it could change, Ventura County Fire Department Commander Norm Plott told the Los Angeles Times “It’s still not a contained fire so I just want to caution that any openings that do happen are subject to being closed again if the fire changes direction.”

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced on Saturday morning the fire was only 10% contained as it reached 1,200 acres.

Approximately 60 homes in the area were under mandatory evacuation as 600 firefighters from various departments reported to the scene.

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