Firefighters in Southern California are battling blazes in Ventura, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Riverside counties that are fueled by winds and dry air. The fires have forced more than 200,000 people to evacuate and destroyed at least 481 structures. The Thomas Fire in Ventura County has grown to 115,000 acres since Monday and is headed toward Ojai, and authorities said they are concerned the winds could fan the flames for weeks; the fire is only five percent contained. Two new fires erupted in Riverside and San Diego counties on Thursday, with the Lilac Fire in northern San Diego County burning 4,100 acres and torching 20 structures by nightfall. Fire officials there said the flames are being fanned by strong winds and growing at a "dangerous" rate.

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