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Monday, May 6, 2013

Rain Falls on #SpringsFire as Firefighters Struggle On The Slopes - #Arson Ruled Out

 Rain and cooler temperatures provided a much-needed break for firefighters battling the 28,000 acre Springs Fire in Ventura County.

 Ventura County Fire spokesman Tony McHale said the wet weather significantly reduced fire activity but also caused crews to work more slowly and methodically on steep rain-slicked hillsides.

Fire Investigators rule out arson as the cause of the Springs fire that charred 44 square miles at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains.

"Undetermined roadside ignition of grass and debris" - Tom Piranio CAL FIRE

Investigators ruled out arson as the cause of the fire that charred 44 square miles at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains. Instead, they believed it was started by a small, "undetermined roadside ignition of grass and debris" on the edge of U.S. 101 near Thousand Oaks, said Tom Piranio, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"The topography plus the hot, windy weather created a perfect storm for the fire to spread fast," he said.

The area near an uphill incline is considered a collection point for fuel and ignition sources, and it's possible a piece of debris fell into the tinder-dry brush early Thursday and sparked the fire, Piranio said.

No Homes Lost

At its height, more than 4,000 homes in Camarillo Springs and Thousand Oaks were threatened by the Springs, more than 1,000 firefighters on scene helped keep the fire from destroying any homes and limiting damage to 15 homes. Only ten out buildings have been lost. Six commercial structures suffered damage, but none were destroyed
The blaze was 80 percent contained. Officials expect full containment late Tuesday.

There were no remaining open flames but firefighters continued to be on the lookout for flare-ups as they dug lines around the burn area, McHale said.
At its peak, the fire threatened some 4,000 homes as it moved through neighborhoods of Camarillo Springs and Thousand Oaks. It

All evacuations in the Newbury Park and Camarillo areas have been lifted.
The American Red Cross serving Ventura County announced they would close the following shelters at 4:00pm: Calvary Chapel Camarillo and Thousand Oaks Community Center. 
Eight firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the flames.

Current numbers for the Springs Fire 5-6-13 0700:

Acres: 28,000

Containment: 80%, full containment expected May 7.
Assigned Personnel: 1,055
Firefighter Injuries: 8
Homes Threatened: 0
Homes Destroyed: 0
No significant fire behavior observed overnight, and little to none is expected today with rain in the forecast.


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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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