May 6, 2013

Crews work to contain California fire

Firefighters get a break from the weather as the high winds and hot, dry air of recent days subside.

The Associated Press

CAMARILLO, Calif. - Cool, moist air moving into Southern California on Sunday helped firefighters build containment lines around a huge wildfire burning through coastal mountains.

Fire crews took advantage of improved conditions as the high winds and hot, dry air of recent days were replaced by the normal Pacific air, significantly reducing fire activity.

The 44-square-mile blaze at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains was 60 percent surrounded.

Full containment was expected Monday, according to Ventura County fire officials.

The progress led authorities to lift all remaining evacuation orders.

"We've really transitioned from a fire attack to a mop-up patrol," Nick Schuler, battalion chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told the Ventura County Star.

One firefighter was injured in the Newbury Park area while battling the blaze and was taken to a hospital, the newspaper said.

The National Weather Service said an approaching low pressure system would bring a 20 percent chance of showers Sunday afternoon, with the likelihood increasing into the night and Monday.

Nearly 2,000 firefighters using engines, bulldozers and aircraft worked to corral the blaze.

Firefighting efforts were focused on the fire's east side, rugged canyons that are a mix of public and private lands.

 

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