Authorities lifted evacuation orders for a farm community Saturday as firefighters make progress on a large wildfire in Southern California that continues to threaten about 2,500 homes and buildings.

Ventura County officials allowed an unknown number of residents in Somis to return home Saturday morning after firefighters contained 30% of the Maria Fire, which has burned nearly 15 square miles (38 square kilometers) and forced nearly 11,000 people to evacuate.

Fire activity subsided overnight. The county officials said in a 6 p.m. update that the humidity level is expected to stay low and winds will become more favorable to firefighting in Southern California

A firefighter creates a fire break as the Maria Fire approaches in Santa Paula, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. According to Ventura County Fire Department, the blaze has scorched more than 8,000 acres and destroyed at least two structures. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
A firefighter creates a fire break as the Maria Fire approaches in Santa Paula, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. According to Ventura County Fire Department, the blaze has scorched more than 8,000 acres and destroyed at least two structures. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Police in Santa Monica urged beachgoers to seek shelter indoors after lightning was reported over the city.

Crews battled to keep the flames away from orchards and farms in the rural area. Three buildings were destroyed.

The fire erupted on a hilltop northwest of Los Angeles on Thursday during what had been expected to be the tail end of gusty Santa Ana winds.

An inmate firefighter creates a fire break as the Maria Fire approaches in Santa Paula, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. According to Ventura County Fire Department, the blaze has scorched more than 8,000 acres and destroyed at least two structures. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
An inmate firefighter creates a fire break as the Maria Fire approaches in Santa Paula, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. According to Ventura County Fire Department, the blaze has scorched more than 8,000 acres and destroyed at least two structures. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The cause was under investigation but there was a troubling possibility that an electrical line might have been involved — as such lines have been at other recent fires.

Southern California Edison said Friday that it re-energized a 16,000-volt power line 13 minutes before the fire erupted in the same area.

Edison and other utilities up and down the state shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people this week out of concerns that high winds could cause power lines to spark and start fires.

File - In this Oct. 29, 2019, file photo, California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a press conference for an update on the Getty Fire in Los Angeles. Gov. Newsom wants to speed up the troubled Pacific Gas & Electric bankruptcy case so the company can be restructured in time for next year's wildfire season. Newsom announced Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, he is calling a meeting of wildfire victims and PG&E executives, shareholders and creditors next week to accelerate what Newsom called
File – In this Oct. 29, 2019, file photo, California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a press conference for an update on the Getty Fire in Los Angeles. Gov. Newsom wants to speed up the troubled Pacific Gas & Electric bankruptcy case so the company can be restructured in time for next year’s wildfire season. Newsom announced Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, he is calling a meeting of wildfire victims and PG&E executives, shareholders and creditors next week to accelerate what Newsom called “a consensual resolution” to the bankruptcy case. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa, File)

SCE will cooperate with investigators, the utility said.

In Northern California, more people were allowed to return to areas evacuated due to the huge Kincade Fire burning for days in the Sonoma County wine country.

The 121-square-mile (313-square-kilometer) fire was 72% contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

A charred lawn chair overlooks a valley filled with smoke from the Kincade Fire near Healdsburg, Calif., Nov. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A charred lawn chair overlooks a valley filled with smoke from the Kincade Fire near Healdsburg, Calif., Nov. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The tally of destroyed homes reached 175 and there were 35 more damaged, Cal Fire said. Many other structures also burned.

Historic, dry winds prompted the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., to initiate four rounds of widespread pre-emptive shut-offs in Northern California this month to prevent wildfires.

But the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District pegged the utility’s equipment as the cause of three smaller fires that cropped up Oct. 27 in the San Francisco Bay Area suburbs of Martinez and Lafayette.

California wildfires torch avocado crops
California wildfires torch avocado crops

And while the cause of the Kincade Fire hasn’t been determined, PG&E reported a problem with a transmission tower near the spot where the fire started.

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Authorities ordered evacuations for approximately 8000 people in Ventura County, California as a fast moving wildfire spread near Santa Paula Friday. Hundreds of firefighters raced to attack the blaze. (Nov. 1)
Authorities ordered evacuations for approximately 8000 people in Ventura County, California as a fast moving wildfire spread near Santa Paula Friday. Hundreds of firefighters raced to attack the blaze. (Nov. 1)
Migrants who work the farms of Northern California, where wildfires have forced them to evacuate, say this time things are different. In the past many seeking shelter stayed away for fear that immigration authorities would deport people. (Nov.1)
Migrants who work the farms of Northern California, where wildfires have forced them to evacuate, say this time things are different. In the past many seeking shelter stayed away for fear that immigration authorities would deport people. (Nov.1)