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Nearly 8,000 homes evacuated due to wildfire

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SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) -- Nearly 8,000 homes have been evacuated after a wind-whipped wildfire exploded overnight in Southern California.

Fire officials say the blaze broke out Monday evening east of Santa Paula, which is about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The flames reached about 40 square miles by early Tuesday.

Evacuation orders were expanded to include homes in Ventura, a city with over 100,000 residents.

The National Weather Service says gusts over 60 mph have been reported in the area and are expected to continue.

Sheriff's officials say two structures have burned so far. It wasn't clear if they were homes.

Officials say one person has died in an auto accident related to the fire, but did not give any details.

Southern California Edison says nearly 180,000 customers in the Ventura county area were without service.

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