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An aircraft drops fire retardant on the Thomas Fire, a wildfire in …

Authorities confirm first death related to California wildfires

Officials late Friday confirmed the first death related to California’s most recent wildfires after a 70-year-old woman crashed her car while trying to evacuate earlier this week.

The Ventura County medical examiner told the Associated Press that Virginia Pesola of Santa Paula was killed on Wednesday from blunt force trauma, terminal smoke inhalation and burns. Pesola was discovered in her vehicle not far from her home north of Los Angeles.

At least six wildfires are burning throughout Southern California, with the largest one sweeping across Ventura County, where it has burned more than 430 homes and structures.

Another fire that began in San Diego County forced additional evacuations and caused injuries to multiple people and livestock. More than 200,000 people have fled their homes across Southern California.

More than 2,500 firefighters have been working in Ventura County and elsewhere across the state as whipping winds continue to feed the flames that have spread across hundreds of acres of the heavily populated region.

And authorities on Friday said another 1,000 firefighters are battling the the blaze in San Diego with the assistance of air tankers and helicopters.