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New evacuation ordered as Calif. wildfire is fanned by shift in winds

Firefighters worked at Point Mugu State Park, as a wind-driven wildfire raged along the California coast on Friday.

Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

Firefighters worked at Point Mugu State Park, as a wind-driven wildfire raged along the California coast on Friday.

CAMARILLO, Calif. — A huge Southern California wildfire burned through coastal wilderness to the beach on Friday then stormed back through canyons toward inland neighborhoods when winds reversed direction.

The wind shift forced fire commanders to order a new evacuation of homes in a Thousand Oaks neighborhood along a 2-mile stretch of road overlooking smoke-filled coastal canyons.

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Fears arose after gusty Santa Ana winds from the northeast faded and ocean breezes from the southwest pushed inland.

The ‘‘worst-case weather scenario’’ sent flames ripping through fresh fuel just to the east of where the blaze charred wildlands a day earlier, said Ventura County fire spokesman Bill Nash.

‘‘In the perfect scenario we’d just hope for the wind to go away but what happened is the wind just turned around,’’ Nash said.

The wind-whipped fire erupted Thursday in the Camarillo area, threatening as many as 4,000 homes but damaging only 15. No injuries were reported.

The 15½-square-mile blaze 50 miles east of Los Angeles was only 10 percent contained, and the work of more than 900 firefighters, aided by air tankers, was just beginning.

Evacuations had been lifted for neighborhoods as the fire moved toward the coast. California State University, Channel Islands remained closed, and new evacuations were called for scattered homes in coastal canyons, Nash said.

Those areas mainly included ranches, orchards, camps, and vacation homes rather than dense neighborhoods. Some expensive ridge-top and canyon homes also were in the path of the flames.

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