AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week In just a few hours, the fire grew from 500 acres to 1,487 acres, said fire department spokeswoman Michele Faina. The hilly, rocky area contains numerous oil pumps, said Joe Luna, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department.At least one structure had burned, apparently on an oil field, according to television footage. Water-dropping helicopters were called in to assist hundreds of firefighters who were protecting neighborhoods. While the wind wasn’t bad enough to halt the aerial attack, shifting winds and gusts up to 45 mph posed problems for fire crews. “The winds have been problematic,” Luna said. “When the winds die down, it allows us to make better progress but we expect to deal with it throughout the day.” Most of Southern California was under a red flag warning, which advises of warm, windy and dry conditions that could lead to explosive fire growth. VENTURA — Pushed by fierce Santa Ana winds, a wildfire tripled to nearly 1,500 acres Friday and crept toward large, ridgetop homes where residents were told to stand by for possible evacuation. The blaze was reported around 3:30 a.m. in the School Canyon area between Ventura and Ojai, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, fire officials said. At midmorning, a wall of flames as high as 30 feet snaked along hillsides and thick, black smoke hovered over homes. “It’s right in their back yard,” Luna said. “We have a lot of crews up there and are making every effort to protect those structures.” Investigators were on scene but hadn’t yet determined a cause. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!