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Thomas Fire In Ventura County Burns More Than 5000 Acres; Evacuations Spread


A brush fire that's burned more than 5000 acres of brush in Ventura County has forced hundreds of evacuations, and closed Highway 150.

The Thomas Fire is burning between Santa Paula and Ojai, in the Wheeler Canyon area. The fire was reported shortly before 7 Monday night. It forced the evacuation of more than 400 students and staff members at Thomas Aquinas College. More than 400 homes on the north side of Santa Paula in the Monte Vista area are also facing evacuation orders.

There also evacuation orders in place for areas of eastern Ventura near north of Foothill Road. Evacuation centers have been set up at Nordhoff High School in Ojai, and at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura.  The Santa Paula School District has cancelled classes at all of its campuses tomorrow.

More than 500 firefighters are battling the blaze, but because of windy conditions, they can't use night flight helicopters.

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