More evacuations as fire churns along coast

Thomas Wildfire in Ventura County Calif. (VCFD PIO / Twitter/file)
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VENTURA, Calif. (AP) Residents are being ordered to evacuate a tiny beachfront community northwest of Los Angeles where a huge wildfire is churning down hillsides toward seaside homes.

A California Highway Patrol officer drove through Faria Beach Thursday announcing the evacuations through a loudspeaker as surging winds roiled smoke through the streets.

Residents used garden hoses to spray palm trees to keep them from burning as firefighters scrambled to stop the progress of flames.

U.S. 101 along the coast was intermittently closed, as were several highways in and around the Ventura County resort town of Ojai, where most of the 7,000 residents are under evacuation orders.

Thousands of homes remain threatened by at least four major Southern California wildfires that have destroyed structures and sent residents fleeing.