- The Washington Times - Friday, May 3, 2013

Raging wildfires tearing along the California coast have scorched thousands of acres and forced hundreds of fearful residents to flee as firefighters scrambled to contain the damage.

The fires have already destroyed a handful of homes, and hundreds more are threatened. The flames on Friday were at the doorstep of two subdivisions near Camarillo, where 850 houses are located, Ventura County sheriff’s spokesman Eric Buschow said, in a Reuters report.

“The winds are a big factor in this firefight,” said another firefighter spokesman, Tom McHale, in Reuters. “Our concern is with pesticides and fumigants and things of that nature.”

In Ventura, some farm equipment has actually exploded in the flames, Fox News reported.

The fires have been fueled by the dry conditions, too, Reuters said, and several smaller blazes have ignited in the brush that dots U.S. 101. So far, the blaze has consumed 6,500 acres — and counting, Reuters said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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