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Latest Brush Fire In Ventura County Burns 8700 Acres; 7500 People Evacuated

The Maria Fire sent a wall of flames through the hills east of Santa Paula early Friday morning, but by daybreak Friday there were most just small spots left burning

Ventura County's second major brush fire in less than a week sent flames shooting through the mountains between Moorpark and Santa Paula Thursday night and Friday morning, threatening an estimated 1800 structures.

The Maria Fire started on South Mountain just after six Thursday night.  It spread down the east, west, and south slopes of the mountains.  Because of the rugged terrain, bulldozers and fire trucks had limited access.

Firefighters used the same strategy they used on the Easy Fire in Simi Valley, which was to decide on a defensible area around the fire, and then evacuate people if necessary.  The weather is cooperating, with the wind finally easing.  But, containment is still at 0%.

Two structures have been reported destroyed. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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