26,000 under evacuation orders near Los Angeles as wildfire burns

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Firefighters walk the road leading to the Reagan Library during the Easy Fire in Simi Valley, California on October 30, 2019. – Firefighters in California battled a new fast-moving blaze on Wednesday that threatened the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, as rare “extreme” red flag warnings were issued for much of the Los Angeles region. The so-called Easy Fire in the Simi Valley northwest of Los Angeles erupted around 6:00 am, forcing the evacuation of the library and nearby homes as it spread to more than 900 acres (365 hectares), officials said. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

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SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — About 7,000 homes are under evacuation orders as a wind-driven wildfire burns northwest of Los Angeles.

Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub says about 26,000 people are affected by the orders, most of which are mandatory.

The fire erupted just after 6 a.m. Wednesday near the hilltop Ronald Reagan Presidential Library near the communities of Simi Valley and Moorpark.

County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen says it was “about the worst time it could happen” because of strong winds and “fuels that were ripe and ready to carry fire.”

The fire has moved rapidly between suburban tracts on sparsely developed lands that include small horse ranches and some agriculture.

Lorenzen says some outbuildings have been destroyed and there is a report a possible home burning.

Incident Commander Chad Cook says firefighters made a successful stand protecting the Reagan Library, but he cautions that the entire burned area is still considered to be a threat.

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