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After 150 Ft. Flames, Weather Helping Firefighters Battle Springs Blaze

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CAMARILLO (CBSLA.com) — The Springs Fire that started Thursday near the 101 Freeway in Camarillo is 30 percent contained after scorching 28,000 acres in Ventura County and changing weather has brought some relief.

Rising humidity and cooler temperatures helped to calm the flames Friday night, after a day that saw 100-150 foot flames, power lines set ablaze, and a funnel cloud of dust and smoke.

The fire flared up again just after noon Friday when offshore winds shifted back on-shore. More than 43 square miles have been affected.

A significant decrease in plumes of smoke was reported by sundown and air attacks were suspended for the night.

Pacific Coast Highway reopened in both directions around 5 p.m. and the 101 Freeway also is open in both directions.

Firefighters remain focused on the Hidden Valley area near Yerba Buena Road north of Malibu.

Fire crews plan to set backfires on Wendy and Potrero Road Friday, and residents are being warned by reverse 911 calls to expect smoke as firefighters eliminate unburned fuel.

Bill Thomas of the Los Angeles Fire Department said resources have poured in and firefighters are well equipped, employing engines, aircraft and bulldozers. A reported 1,900 fire personnel from across California have traveled to the Southland.

Thomas said crews are pleased with the level of containment but that changes in weather or wind can change the percentage of the fire that is contained.

“But with the amount of resources we have, now we have the ability to take more people out there and dump as much we can out there, and really improve on that line” to contain more of the fire.

In Newbury Park, residents said they were grateful to the firefighters who helped save the area’s ranch homes and horses.

“They have been phenomenal,” said one resident. “Throughout yesterday they saved our entire community, not one home burned.”

“We just want to show love and support to them and be there for them, even if it’s something as simple as a water bottle,” one resident said, who with a friend brought water to the firefighters.

The change in weather made setting backfires more difficult because of the cooler conditions. Firefighters estimated the backfires in Newbury Park would take roughly four hours to complete.

Authorities are reportedly hoping to have the fire contained by Monday.

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