VENTURA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities have closed a major freeway as flames from the largest and most destructive Southern California wildfire churn toward coastal and mountain communities northwest of Los Angeles.
Calmer overnight winds Thursday helped crews protect the Ventura County resort town of Ojai (OH'hi), where most of the 7,000 residents are under evacuation orders.
The National Weather Service says a more favorable wind forecast still calls for potentially dangerous gusts, but ones not likely not to approach historic levels they'd feared.
Officials closed U.S. 101 for more than a dozen miles along the coast, cutting off a major route between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties as fire charred heavy brush along lanes.
Thousands of homes remain threatened by at least four major Southern California wildfires that have destroyed structures and sent residents fleeing.
(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Freeway closed as Southern California fire rages
- Mud wipes out homes, rescues underway in Southern California deluge
- Southern California wildfires hit home for one of WAAY 31's own
- 911 Dispatcher shot after road rage incident
- Northern California wildfires spreading
- Fire roaring through Northern California triples in size
- Popular downtown bar and business closed due to fire
- Albertville police investigate road rage shooting on US 431
- School closings due to weather
- Downtown streets closing for Panoply