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Ventura County Fire Grows To 8,500 Acres

— An 8,500-acre wildfire continues to churn through rugged hills and mountains of Southern California's Ventura County, but some areas are experiencing a lull in winds.

Firefighters guarded ranch and agricultural properties on the active west flank of the fire Wednesday morning but none appeared in imminent danger.

Firefighters expect winds to pick up again and consider 1,000 homes and 20 commercial buildings threatened.

A DC-10 jumbo jet converted into an air tanker has returned to the blaze and dropped an enormous load of fire retardant on vegetation.

The fire erupted Tuesday between the cities of Fillmore and Moorpark as hot, dry and gusty Santa Ana winds pushed through Southern California. The gusts also fanned smaller fires in the inland region east of Los Angeles.

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