The Latest: Firefighters douse hot spots as winds whip up

AP News
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Posted: Dec 21, 2017 9:27 AM
The Latest: Firefighters douse hot spots as winds whip up

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

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. 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.