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CAMARILLO ( — A congresswoman issued thanks to the firefighters who battled the Springs Fire in Ventura County from the House floor in Washington, but that was not enough for her.

Rep. Julia Brownley traveled to Camarillo Friday to personally thank firefighters who fought down the massive Springs Fire, which started last Thursday in Camarillo and scorched 24,000 acres throughout Ventura County, all the way out to Pacific Coast Highway.

“Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you all,” Brownley said, as she shook the hands of local, state and federal firefighters who battled the blaze, which threatened 4,000 homes at one point. No homes were destroyed.

“These men and women worked, really, 24-7, many on 24-hour shifts, and people coming from everywhere to, you know, protect life and protect homes,” Brownley said.

Firefighters were happy to have Brownely’s support.

“It’s always nice to know we have the support of someone like Julia Brownley, to come out here and shake firefighters’ hands and actually tell us, ‘thank you.’ We appreciate that,” Ventura County Fire Capt. Barry Parker said.

There were questions, however, as to why the massive C130s at the California International Guard base were not used sooner to help in the firefight. These cargo planes are equipped to drop 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in a single pass.

“We actually ended up having them fly Saturday, but reality was, early on in the fire, especially with a wind-driven fire,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said, “oftentimes fixed-wing aircraft don’t provide much benefit.”


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