Ventura County fire burns 500 acres, brings some evacuations - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Ventura County fire burns 500 acres, brings some evacuations

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SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) - Powerful winds are driving a fast-moving wildfire that has forced a highway to close and a handful of people to evacuate their homes in Southern California.

Ventura County fire officials say the blaze burned 500 acres Monday near Santa Paula, a city of 30,000 people.

A handful of rural homes outside the city are under evacuation orders, though none have been issued for Santa Paula.

Thomas Aquinas College a school with about 350 students, has also been evacuated.

Part of Highway 150 was shut down.

The National Weather Service says winds of 43 mph with gusts over 60 mph have been reported in the area and are expected to continue.

Similar winds fanned another wildfire in Riverside County, but evacuation orders for some 20 homes there were called off after firefighters got a foothold against the blaze

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