The 10,000-acre wildfire, known as the Thomas Fire, burned dry brush after erupting earlier in the evening in Ventura County (pictured)

The 10,000-acre wildfire, known as the Thomas Fire, burned dry brush after erupting earlier in the evening in Ventura County (pictured)
A raging wildfire has threatened hundreds of homes near Los Angeles as 1,000 households are told to evacuate.

Residents have been forced to leave their homes and one motorist was killed desperately trying to flee the rapidly-growing fire.

The 10,000-acre wildfire, known as the Thomas Fire, burned dry brush after erupting earlier in the evening in Ventura County, 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

More than 150,000 homes were without power and at least two structures were destroyed, media reported.




Strong winds were pushing the fire toward the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura (pictured)

Strong winds were pushing the fire toward the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura (pictured)
Melissa Grisales told ABC 7 in Los Angeles: 'We got my kids out first. Pretty scary, really. I didn't think it was going to come to that, but I am starting to get pretty concerned.'

Strong winds were pushing the fire toward the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura, where about 140,000 people live, the Ventura County officials said.

Ventura County firefighter Jason Hodge told the Los Angeles Times: 'We're really just trying to catch it around the edges and just pinching it off as quickly as we possibly can.'

The fire was stoked by wind gusts of up to 70 mph (115 kph) that were expected to remain in the area along with low humidity through the week, the National Weather Service forecast.

The 390 students at Thomas Aquinas College were evacuated as a precaution, the school said on Twitter.

Evacuation centers were opened at a high school and the county fairgrounds, media reported.

The cause of the fire was unknown.

Source: Associated Press