Firefighters were battling a brush fire in Santa Paula on Monday in the midst of heavy winds, officials said.

An evacuation warning was issued for the area surrounding Todd Road and Shell Road as the fire grew to about 173 acres at about 1:45 p.m.

The blaze, dubbed the Cornell Fire, was reported just after 11:45 a.m. at a river bottom near the Santa Paula Airport and was surrounded by open fields.

As of 12:00 p.m., the brush fire was about five acres and burning at a “rapid rate of spread,” the Ventura County Fire Department said in a tweet.

No other information was released.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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