CAMARILLO (CBSLA.com) — The Springs Fire was 80 percent contained as of early Monday morning, aided by cool, wet weather that hit the Southland overnight, Ventura County Fire Department officials said.
“Well the weather’s definitely been a very favorable development for us as far as getting a handle on this incident,” Tony McHale of the VCFD said.
Full containment of the 28,000-acre fire is expected Tuesday, according to authorities. More than 1,000 personnel will be assigned to fight the blaze Monday.
“The rain does present certain problems. Its good for suppressing fire behavior, but working in it, you can imagine what it was like for the crews that were out there doing containment line construction out there in the rain and mud. So very slow, tedious and hazardous work,” he added.
Officials said eight firefighters suffered non-life-threatening injuries while battling the massive blaze which began Thursday morning.
Investigators have ruled out arson as a cause and believe dry brush sparked the 44-square-mile fire accidentally along the 101 Freeway near the Conejo Grade.
Crews reopened Pacific Coast Highway at 7:30 p.m. Sunday following a precautionary closure.
The California Department of Transportation has been authorized $2.5 million in state emergency funds to protect the PCH from falling debris and rocks following the Camarillo Springs Fire.
A contractor has begun to place temporary barrier (K-rail) along the shoulder in locations between Malibu and Camarillo.
KNX 1070′s Jon Baird reports rock fencing will also be placed atop the K-rail in steeper slope areas to prevent sand, gravel and rocks from falling onto the road after the fire loosened the soil and burned vegetation holding the slope.
“They will be placing what we call K-rails as temporary barriers, and in some locations where there is more rock movement, they’ll be putting up some rock fences,” said Lauren Wonder with Caltrans.
Motorists are advised to watch for Caltrans trucks, contractor crews and debris, and they reminded to drive carefully through the area or take U.S. Highway 101 as an alternate route.
Classes and activities at Cal State University Channel Islands were scheduled to resume Monday. School officials said clean-up of the campus will continue over the next several weeks.