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The Latest: Schools shuttered as Ventura County fire grows

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

12:20 a.m.

A brush fire north of Los Angeles has quickly grown to more than 11 square miles (28 sq. kilometers) even as calmer weather allowed crews to increase containment on multiple wildfires elsewhere in the state.

Ventura County emergency officials provided an update around 11:30 p.m. Thursday that said the fast-moving fire had spread to approximately 7,400 acres, with 0% containment. The fire erupted Thursday evening itself, quickly spreading from a hilltop near Santa Paula. Authorities have ordered evacuations for around 7,500 people in an area that includes roughly 1,800 buildings.

Dozens of locals schools across several districts have announced Friday closures in light of what's being dubbed the Maria fire.

Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub says aerial firefighting efforts were hampered by someone flying a small drone "apparently looking at photography" Thursday evening.

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10:25 p.m.

Calmer weather allowed crews to increase containment on multiple wildfires after gusts fanned blazes across California and led utilities to cut power to prevent winds from damaging equipment and igniting an inferno.

The winds largely subsided as Red Flag warnings for fire danger remained in place through Friday evening for some inland areas to the north and west of Los Angeles.

A wildfire erupted Thursday evening and quickly spread north of Los Angeles. Authorities ordered evacuations for about 7,500 people in an area that includes roughly 1,800 buildings as the blaze threatened the community of Somis.

Nearly 200,000 Sonoma County residents were allowed to return home amid a 120-square-mile (311-square-kilometer) fire that forced them to evacuate. At least 140 homes were destroyed.

About 80,000 people in the south remained without power after intentional blackouts.

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