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Almost 8,000 homes have been evacuated in southern California after ferocious winds whipped up an explosive wildfire that could soon threaten a city of more than 100,000.

Authorities have given evacuation notices to "well over 30,000" residents in the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura.

Audio will be available later today.

As firefighters battle high winds to control a 70-square-mile wildfire in Ventura County on Tuesday, they're getting assistance from multiple Orange County agencies.

Fire officials say the fire broke out Monday east of Santa Paula, which is about 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

The Ventura Country Fire Department in California posted this image of the Thomas Fire pushing its way toward East Ventura late Monday

Fanned by gusts of up to 70mph (115 kph) the fire quickly spread, forcing the evacuation of at least 1,000 households across Ventura County. Most of the evacuated homes were in that city.

"The fire growth is just absolutely exponential", the Ventura county fire chief, Mark Lorenzen, said.

Further to the homes, the Santa Paula Unified School District announced Monday night that all schools in the city will be closed on Tuesday due to the blaze. The fire also destroyed two structures, though the nature of the structures could not be confirmed, Ventura County Fire Sgt. Eric Buschow told The Washington Post.

Fire engines and helicopters were responding to the fire in Ventura County Monday night, it has already burned 25,000 acres. Thomas Aquinas College, with about 350 students, was evacuated.

"It's always hard and somewhat unsafe to fly at night, so depending on different conditions and the geographic challenges is how they evaluate whether or not they can operate at night", Ventura County firefighter Jason Hodge told the Los Angeles Times.

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