The Latest: All but 1 evacuation lifted at California fire

The Latest: All but 1 evacuation lifted at California fire


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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

10:08 a.m.

All evacuations have been canceled around the smoldering remnants of Southern California's huge wildfire except for one remote wilderness valley.

Santa Barbara County lifted all remaining evacuation orders and warnings Thursday morning but asked residents to remain aware that firefighters will continue to work in the area.

The only area still under an evacuation order is Rose Valley in the mountains of neighboring Ventura County where there is a gun club and a ranch but little else.

An overnight north wind brought increased risk of flare-ups but little activity actually occurred, and Red Flag warnings for fire danger in Santa Barbara County have expired. They remain in effect in Ventura and Los Angeles counties and elsewhere in Southern California.

The blaze began Dec. 4 in rural Ventura County and destroyed hundreds of homes as it was spread by strong winds, becoming the second-largest wildfire in recorded state history.

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6:15 a.m.

Firefighters are dousing hot spots as winds increase that could blow embers and cause flare-ups at the gigantic wildfire still smoldering northwest of Los Angeles.

The blaze entering its 18th day on Thursday is 60 percent contained and now the second-largest in California history. Officials say the rising winds could cause it to grow into the state's biggest fire ever.

Fire spokesman Brandon Vaccaro says crews are in place to once again provide structure protection above hillside communities in Santa Barbara County. And in neighboring Ventura County firefighters are attacking a stubborn section of the blaze from the air because terrain near the city of Fillmore is too rugged to get ground crews in.

Since it began on Dec. 4, the wind-whipped blaze has burned hundreds of homes and is blamed for the deaths of a firefighter and an evacuee.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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