AP PHOTOS: Flames chew through Southern California homes

Flames consume a home on Via Arroyo as a wildfire rages in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

A man rides his bike past a home consumed by a wildfire Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A Los Angeles County firefighter prepares to battle a hot spot on the "Creek Fire" in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017

James and Josie Ralstin carry belongings from their Ventura, Calif., home as flames from a wildfire consume another residence on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017

A photographer struggles as he walks through smoke from a wildfire burning near a home in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Ferocious winds i

A man tries to get a hand on a horse that got loose during wildfire in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Chr

Smoke rises behind a leveled apartment complex as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Over 100 structures have burned so fa

A firefighter tries to keep flames from spreading while battling a wildfire in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Two residents watch from a rooftop as a home burns in a wildfire Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. Raked by ferocious Santa Ana winds, explosi

A man watches flames consume a residence as a wildfire rages in Ventura, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Ferocious winds in Southern California have wh

A burning ember flies through the air as winds fan a wildfire in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

A wildfire consumes a home Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. Raked by ferocious Santa Ana winds, explosive wildfires northwest of Los Angeles

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — Mansions and modest homes alike are in flames in Southern California.

Charging walls of fire quickly tore through suburban areas, chasing tens of thousands of people from their houses and turning their possessions to dust but sparing any deaths or serious injuries.

Smoke obscured the sky in Ventura, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, leading James and Josie Ralstin to don masks Tuesday as they carried some belongings from their home in view of a burning residence.

Fires are not common in December but can break out when parched vegetation and a lack of rain combine with the region's infamously dangerous Santa Ana winds. Hardly any measurable rain has fallen in Southern California in the past six months.

The speed of the flames served as a reminder of the wildfires in Northern California wine country eight weeks ago that killed 44 people and destroyed thousands of homes and other buildings.

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