Springs Fire 75% Contained, All Evacuation Orders Lifted
CAMARILLO (CBSLA.com) — The Springs Fire, which has burned 28,000 acres in Ventura County, was 60 percent contained Sunday morning, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
More than 2,100 firefighters battled the brush fire, which started Thursday around 6:45 a.m., and subsequently prompted the evacuation of thousands, damaging 15 residences, five commercial properties and 15 outbuildings. Another 15 outbuildings were destroyed.
[UPDATE 11 p.m. Sunday: The fire is now 75% contained with full containment expected Monday. Also, it was reported six firefighters have been hurt battling the blaze.]
“The results of the investigation determined that the fire was an undetermined ignition along Highway 101 getting into the grass and the brush,” Ventura County Fire Dept. Tony McHale said. “Undetermined is a very broad spectrum, so we don’t have a specific cause but with all the traffic and the things that happen along the highway it could be any number of things.”
The cooler temperatures and rising humidity helped calm the fire through the weekend.
Around 1,800 personnel will be assigned to fight the blaze Sunday, including 212 fire engines and 6 helicopters.
“It is expected that the de-mobilization process will begin today and some firefighters will be sent home or to other fires,” the Ventura County Fire Dept. said.
Five firefighters have suffered minor injuries. No civilian injuries have been reported.
“Our firefighters did a great job. That whole community, public safety and everyone who was involved in making sure everyone was safe,” Newbury Park resident Judy Ripley said.
All evacuation orders have been lifted. Potrero Road is open to residents with valid identification, and Hidden Valley residents are encouraged to use the Westlake access to return home.
CSU Channel Islands will reopen at 5 p.m. with immediate access to the library, dining services and student housing. Classes and activities are scheduled to resume as normal Monday.
The Pacific Coast Highway reopened in both directions around 5 p.m. Friday, but authorities believe the fire may have affected the slope and are taking precaution to maintain it.
The California Department of Transportation received $2.5 million in state emergency funds to help protect PCH from falling rocks, gravel and debris.
Officials have been installing barriers to prevent debris from falling on the highway.
A Caltrans geotechnical engineer surveyed the area Saturday morning and determined that the slope is stable and landslides are not expected. In a few weeks, engineers will determine if further protection of the slope is necessary to prevent landslides during winter storms.
If storms predicted from Sunday — Tuesday are heavy enough to cause landslides, the highway may need to be closed again.