Fire crews fight to protect Ojai as Thomas fire explodes to 90,000...

Fire crews fight to protect Ojai as Thomas fire explodes to 90,000 acres; hundreds of homes are feared lost in Ventura County

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Crews battling a massive wildfire that has caused tens of thousands of Ventura County residents to flee are bracing themselves for a day of heavy winds Thursday, when forecasters predict fire-stoking gusts of up to 80 mph.

By Wednesday evening, the Thomas fire had scorched about 90,000 acres and carved a path of destruction that stretches more than 10 miles from Santa Paula to the Pacific Ocean. Forecasters say strong Santa Ana winds, coupled with low humidity, will offer “a recipe for explosive fire growth.”

“We stand a good chance of a challenging night and day tomorrow,” California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Tim Chavez said,…



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