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Dec 9, 3:48 PM EST

The Latest: California governor: Fires are 'new normal'

AP Photo
AP Photo/Noah Berger

FALLBROOK, Calif. (AP) -- The Latest on wildfires burning in Southern California (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown says deadly and destructive wildfires in winter are "the new normal."

Brown on Saturday toured Ventura County neighborhoods ravaged by a weeklong wildfire that killed at least one person and destroyed hundreds of homes and other buildings.

At a news conference, Brown said drought and climate change mean California faces a "new reality" where lives and property are continually threatened by fire, at a cost of billions of dollars.

He added that gusty winds and low humidity are continuing and warned that there's a good chance of seeing "firefighting at Christmas."

He said it will take "heroic" efforts in the U.S. and abroad to stem climate change and urged U.S. lawmakers to pay more attention to dealing with natural disasters such as fires, floods and earthquakes.

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10:50 a.m.

Authorities say they've counted more than 1,000 homes and other buildings destroyed by wildfires ravaging Southern California for the past week.

Six fires driven by gusty Santa Ana winds have torched neighborhoods and rural communities from Ventura County north of Los Angeles all the way south to San Diego County.

One person died in a car crash Wednesday trying to escape the largest fire in Ventura County.

Authorities have called for new evacuations because of that fire, which is burning toward a sanctuary for the endangered California condors in Los Padres National Forest.

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8:45 a.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown will visit the scene of a deadly wildfire in Ventura as firefighters continue the battle against wind-whipped blazes that have torched hundreds of homes.

Brown will survey damage from the Thomas Fire on Saturday and will meet with emergency management officials and residents.

The fire is the largest of six that have scorched Southern California. The fires from Ventura County to San Diego County have destroyed more than 500 buildings, killed dozens of horses and forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate.

One death is blamed on the Ventura blaze: A 70-year-old woman who crashed her car while evacuating.

On Friday, President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration allowing counties affected by the wildfires to receive federal assistance.

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