Winds ease but Ventura County wildfire threat remains

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A bulldozer clears a firebreak near a wildfire burning along a hillside, Thousand Oaks, California. (AP Photo)

A bulldozer clears a firebreak near a wildfire burning along a hillside, Thousand Oaks, California. (AP Photo)

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — Santa Ana winds that sent a Southern California wildfire barreling to the sea have died but flames are still running through coastal canyons, threatening scattered homes and wilderness.

Large-scale evacuations were lifted overnight in Ventura County neighborhoods near the 15½-square-mile blaze.

However, new evacuations have been called about 20 miles west of Malibu as the fire moves through areas of scattered homes, orchards, ranches and campgrounds.

Hot, dry winds that pushed the flames oceanward on Thursday were expected to continue Friday morning but instead they turned breezy, and cooler air has begun to push in from the ocean.

Firefighters are wary, though, because the shifting winds could make the fire unpredictable and even send it back the way it came.

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