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Local crews assisting at Maria Fire burning out of control in Ventura Co.

Posted at 11:30 AM, Nov 01, 2019

More than 500 firefighters are battling a wind-driven fire that has already scorched more than 8,000 acres in Ventura County.

The fire broke out just after 6 p.m. Thursday in Santa Paula at the end of a Santa Ana wind event, according to Ventura County Fire, and has prompted air quality alerts in Santa Barbara County. Smoke is visible in San Luis Obispo County as well.

Early Friday morning, fire officials said the winds had subsided in the area and the cold temperatures were reducing the fire's ability to run aggressively downhill, but no containment had been reached.

Crews are battling the blaze from the air and on the ground.

There are about 7,500 people and 1,800 structures in the mandatory evacuation zone.

Ventura County Fire says the fire is impacting the agricultural areas of Camarillo, Somis, Santa Paula, and East Ventura.

Firefighters are working to protect "critical infrastructure" like power lines and radio communications along with crops like avocados and citrus orchards while also hoping to keep the fire inside an established boundary.

Many crews from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are assisting in the firefight.

No word on what sparked the blaze.