May 4 A fierce wildfire threatening 4,000 homes
northwest of Los Angeles was about 30 percent contained on
Saturday as higher humidity and cooler temperatures helped
firefighters, fire department spokesmen said.
The fire in coastal Ventura County has blackened about
28,000 acres (11,300 hectares) of rugged brush land since
starting on Thursday. There is no forecast for containment and
the fire was not expected to be under control until May 13,
Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Tom Kruschke said.
A drop from record-high temperatures on Friday and slowing,
cooler winds off the Pacific Ocean were aiding the almost 1,000
firefighters brought in from across California, he said.
"We're getting much more favorable weather conditions here.
We don't have the high winds and the high temperatures,"
Light rain forecast for Sunday and heavier precipitation
expected for Monday and Tuesday also could help firefighters
battling what authorities are calling the Springs Fire.
A second spokesman, Bill Nash, said firefighters were
concentrating on the Newbury Park area, with the eastern end in
About 4,000 homes have been threatened by the fire and 15
damaged. No injuries have been reported.
The Springs Fire and a flurry of smaller blazes around the
state this week marked a sudden start to the California fire
season. Some weather forecasters have predicted the season will
be worsened by a summer of high temperatures and drought
throughout much of the U.S. West.
The fire forced the closure of California State University
Channel Islands in Camarillo, where the high temperature was a
record 96 degrees Fahrenheit (36 Celsius). It is tentatively
scheduled to reopen on Sunday, the school said on its website.
The blaze has sent thick smoke drifting over the beach
community of Malibu and farther inland across Los Angeles
The Point Mugu U.S. Naval Air Station has lifted its order
that all non-essential personnel stay home because of the fire.
A base housing unit that is home to 118 families was evacuated
on Friday because of heavy smoke, a base spokeswoman said.