New blaze erupts in wildfire-plagued Southern California

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — A dramatic new wildfire erupted in Los Angeles early Wednesday as firefighters battled three other destructive blazes across Southern California.

Flames exploded before dawn on the steep slopes of Sepulveda Pass, which carries heavily traveled Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains where ridge tops are covered with expensive homes.

Firefighters were providing structure protection as helicopters flying in darkness made water drops on the flames on the east side of the pass. Northbound traffic was halted, but southbound lanes remained open.

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