Ventura County fire could be slowed by cooler weather

The wildfire that began near Camarillo Springs Road and U.S. 101 spread to 28,000 acres on Friday, but firefighters kept the flames from engulfing any homes for a second day. Residents fled several neighborhoods, however, as the fire jumped ridges and moved toward communities such as Hidden Valley. By sundown officials said they have 20 percent containment, but that could change overnight.

The Ventura County Star has been doing a nice job on the fire, and appears to have dropped its website paywall for the fire coverage.

Officials said the unpredictable fire became even more erratic late Friday morning as offshore winds shifted and began coming in from the Pacific Ocean. Authorities had to evacuate the Hidden Valley/Potrero Road area south of Newbury Park and a housing complex at Naval Base Ventura County. Another south Newbury area, between Potrero and Lynn roads east of Wendy Drive, saw a voluntary evacuation order....

More than 950 firefighters battled the blaze. About 4,000 homes have been threatened and 15 damaged, but none had been destroyed yet, officials. No injuries had been reported, either.

The main firefights Friday were in Hidden Valley and the rugged canyons around Deer Creek and Yerba Buena roads near the Ventura-Los Angeles county line. The Pacific Coast Highway was closed between Las Posas Road and Mulholland Highway — first due to the fire, then later because of a reported rockslide. It reopened about 8:15 p.m.

At sunset, the air attack was shut down for the night, but ground operations continued. Firefighters planned to focus overnight on the Yerba Buena area.

The blaze started Thursday morning near Camarillo Springs Road and Highway 101 at the bottom of the Conejo Grade, leading officials to call it the “Springs fire.”

It burned a 10-mile path to the ocean Thursday and even jumped the Pacific Coast Highway on Friday to burn brush at a Navy training site and shooting range. Later in the day, when the winds shifted, a flank of the fire burned back up a canyon toward Newbury, threatening Hidden Valley.

Cooler and more humid weather is coming this weekend, possibly even some rain, which of course would help.

In Glendale, a fire that broke out near the junction of the 134 and 2 freeways closed the interchange for a time Friday afternoon and forced evacuations in Chevy Chase Canyon. It ended up burning just 75 acres, but caused a scare for residents in the area and gummed up the Friday evening commute. There was also a small fire in Walnut.

Photo by George Foulsham of Friday's smoke-filled sky and strawberry fields off Las Posas Road in Camarillo.

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