Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

May 5, 2013

Cooler weather aids fight against wildfire

CAMARILLO, Calif. — A big cool-down in weather calmed a huge wildfire burning in Southern California coastal mountains Saturday, and firefighters worked to cut miles of containment lines while conditions were favorable.

High winds and withering hot, dry air were replaced by the normal flow of damp air off the Pacific, significantly reducing fire activity.

“The fire isn’t really running and gunning,” said Tom Kruschke, a Ventura County Fire Department spokesman.

The 43-square-mile blaze at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains was 56 percent surrounded.

The humidity level rose so much that an overnight effort to burn away fuel at one section of the fire did not work well, Kruschke said.

Despite the favorable conditions, evacuation orders remained in place for residences in several areas.

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, Kruschke 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 on Monday.

“Anything we get is going to help us,” Kruschke said.

The change in the weather was also expected to bring gusty winds to some parts of Southern California, but well away from the fire area.

Despite its size and speed of growth, the fire that broke out Thursday and quickly moved through neighborhoods of Camarillo Springs and Thousand Oaks has caused damage to just 15 homes, though it has threatened thousands.

The fire also swept through Point Mugu State Park, a hiking and camping area that sprawls between those communities and the ocean. Park district Superintendent Craig Sap told the Ventura County Star (http://bit.ly/18CKxY4) that two old, unused ranch-style homes in the backcountry burned. Restrooms and campgrounds also were damaged. Sap estimated repairs would cost $225,000.

The only injuries as of Saturday were a civilian and a firefighter involved in a traffic accident away from the fire.

Residents were grateful so many homes were spared.

“It came pretty close. All of these houses — these firemen did a tremendous job. Very, very thankful for them,” Shayne Poindexter said. Flames came within 30 feet of the house he was building.

On Friday, the wildfire reached the ocean, jumped Pacific Coast Highway and burned a Navy base rifle range on the beach at Point Mugu. When winds reversed direction from offshore to onshore, the fire stormed back up canyons toward inland neighborhoods.

The blaze is one of more than 680 wildfires in the state so far this year — about 200 more than average.

East of Los Angeles in Riverside County, a new fire that broke out Saturday afternoon burned 650 acres of wilderness south of Banning. It was 20 percent contained. Banning has been flanked by a nearly 5-square-mile fire to the north since Wednesday. Firefighters contained 85 percent of that fire, which destroyed one home shortly after it broke out.

In Northern California, a fire that has blackened more than 10 square miles of wilderness in Tehama County was a threat to 10 unoccupied summer homes near the community of Butte Meadows, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Thunderstorms Saturday were expected to bring erratic winds but little rain to the area about 200 miles north of San Francisco.

Nearly 1,300 firefighters were on the lines and the blaze, which started Wednesday, was 20 percent contained.

 

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

    A state’s voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America.

    April 23, 2014

  • ‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in South Sudan slaughter

    Gunmen who targeted both children and the elderly left “piles and piles” of bodies — many of those in a mosque — in a provincial capital in South Sudan, the U.N.’s top humanitarian official in the country said Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Obama_Stew.jpg Obama views mudslide scene

    Swooping over a terrain of great sadness and death, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour Tuesday of the place where more than three dozen people perished in a mudslide last month, then mourned privately with those who lost loved ones in the destruction.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wall Street_Stew.jpg Earnings and corporate deals lift U.S. stocks

    Corporate deals and some solid earnings reports propelled the stock market to its sixth straight gain Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Economy College Gradu_Stew.jpg Job market for college grads better but still weak

    With college commencement ceremonies nearing, the government is offering a modest dose of good news for graduating seniors: The job market is brightening for new grads — a bit.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Court TV On t_Stew.jpg Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned

    Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today in History

    In 1791, the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pa.

    April 23, 2014

  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport’s tarmac and climbed into a jetliner’s wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation’s airline fleet.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Death count in ferry sinking tops 100

    One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP520422034 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, April 22, the 112th day of 2014. There are 253 days left in the year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results