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Crews Battle Wildfires In Southern California

Crews in Southern California are battling a fast-moving wildfire that has forced evacuations of hundreds of homes.

NPR's Kirk Seigler is reporting on the blaze for our Newscast unit:

"The blaze is burning in the rugged foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains about 50 miles west of Los Angeles, and less than a dozen miles from the Pacific Ocean.

"It's believed to have sparked early in the morning and was quickly fanned by hot, Santa Ana winds that blew in from the desert and caused humidity to plummet to the single digits across the region.

"Keeping the flames away from numerous subdivisions and the campus of Cal State University Channel Islands has been the priority, but so has air quality. Ventura County officials say a stock of toxic pesticides at an agricultural facility near the university campus was in the fire's path. And a hazmat team is prepared to deal with the pesticides. The billows of black smoke and soot have also prompted officials to send out health warnings across the region."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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