National

Sep 24, 2009 4:15 PM by Associated Press

Hot, windy weather stokes Southern California blaze

A major air assault is planned this morning in Southern California where a wildfire has chewed through more than 25 square miles of bone dry brush, threatening hundreds of homes.

A multimillion dollar agriculture industry and valuable oil production fields are also at risk.

Firefighters are focused today on the fire's eastern and western flanks just north of Moorpark, about 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The fire was 40 percent contained late yesterday.

County fire Capt. Ron Oatman says many ranchers would rather see their homes burn than their orchards, which are their livelihood.

The blaze is the largest of several that erupted in Southern California Tuesday as Santa Ana winds blew in from the northeast.

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