Brush Fire Explodes on Hillside Between Somis and Santa Paula

on Nov1
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A brush fire erupted in the hills between Santa Paula and Somis Thursday night, prompting evacuations as winds continued to blow and humidity remained low.

The fire, dubbed the “Maria Fire” was reported around 6:30 p.m. on the hilltop of South Mountain and could be seen from the 101 Freeway below and as far away as the eastern San Fernando Valley.

Evacuations were ordered for Balcom Canyon and 12th Street, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

No homes were immediately threatened, but a number of radio towers sit on top of the hill.

Firefighting aircraft were expected to launch, as access to the hilltop is difficult on foot or by vehicle. They are working to keep the blaze within a perimeter defined by the 126 Freeway, Los Angeles Avenue, Vineyard and Balcom Canyon Road.

Winds blowing between 15 and 25 mph Thursday night, with gusts up to 35 mph and low humidity is expected in the area of the fire until the afternoon Friday.

A red flag warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Friday.

There was no immediate word on a possible cause of the fire.

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.

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