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Hundreds of Calif. Schools Closed

The magnitude of the wildfire siege in parts of Southern California continued to worsen Wednesday, with more than 100,000 people forced from their homes and authorities warning of the return of dangerous winds on Thursday.

As predicted, the winds picked up Thursday morning, with gusts topping 50 mph in some areas. That pushed the various fires in different directions, forcing new evacuations in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

In anticipation of the heavy winds, all Los Angeles Unified schools in the San Fernando Valley as well as 17 schools on the city’s Westside will be closed for the rest of the week, district officials said Wednesday afternoon.

The decision closes at least 265 schools in neighborhoods affected by the wildfires raging in and near Los Angeles.

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