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Latest On Maria Fire In Ventura County




Smoke from the Maria Fire billows above Santa Paula, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019.
Smoke from the Maria Fire billows above Santa Paula, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019.
Noah Berger/AP

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A fast-moving fire broke out on Halloween night in Ventura County exploded to more than 8,000 acres overnight, prompting mandatory evacuation affecting at least 7,500 people. Many nearby school districts have cancelled classes due to this fire.

The Maria Fire is burning in a mountain area between Santa Paula and Somis, a ranching and farming community. The fight against the fire was hampered late Thursday when authorities grounded air support for the fire after a drone was discovered flying in the fire zone.

In better news, fire officials said they did not believe the Maria Fire would grow as large as 2017's Thomas Fire that burned for nearly 40 days and ate throughabout 282,000 acres — or 440 square miles.

Based on the Maria Fire's location, which started on a ridge, fire authorities said they believed the fire will run out of fuel at some point, burning at most about 12,000 acres.

For more coverage from KPCC and LAist, click here

Guest:

Jacob Margolis, KPCC’s science reporter