Thursday, December 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Wildfire burns path to Pacific

Fire vehicles head up the Pacific Coast Highway on Thursday near Point Mugu as a thick layer of smoke from a wildfire darkens the sky.   AP photo

Fire department personnel drive along Pacific Coast Highway near Point Mugu as a thick layer of smoke sits overhead during a wildfire that burned several thousand acres, Thursday, May 2, 2013, in Ventura County, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By
From page A2 | May 03, 2013 |

BUTTE MEADOWS (AP) — A Southern California wildfire carving a path to the sea grew to more than 15 square miles and crews prepared Friday for another bad day of gusting winds and searing weather.

“We’re going to be at Mother Nature’s mercy,” Ventura County fire spokesman Tom Kruschke said.

The wind-whipped fire erupted Thursday in the Camarillo area, damaging 15 homes and a cluster of recreational vehicles in a parking lot. About 2,000 Ventura County homes remained threatened and evacuations remained in force although the fire line edged southwards toward Malibu. It was about 20 miles from the coastal enclave at daybreak.

The blaze was 10 percent contained but the work of more than 900 firefighters and deputies was just beginning, fire officials said.

The weather forecast called for parching single-digit humidity, highs in the 90s in some fire areas and morning winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph — slightly down from a day earlier.

There’s still a chance of “explosive fire spread” before winds begin tapering off in the afternoon and cooler weather begins to kick in, said Curt Kaplan, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard.

While winds calmed overnight, the fire that had burned about 12 1/2 square miles by Thursday night had increased to around 15 1/2 square miles by dawn.

“It has grown throughout the night,” Kruschke said. “The fire has been coming down canyons all along Pacific Coast Highway and that’s where we’ve been concentrating a lot of our effort.”

Air tankers were expected to resume water and fire retardant drops after daybreak, which showed molten lines of flames along the oceanside ridges and a vast, black charred landscape behind. Few homes were in the immediate area.

Although the flames were generally heading seaward, the threat to homes behind its edge remained from hotspots and wind-driven embers, Kruschke said.

“The fire can jump up at any time and any place,” he said. “There’s that hot bed of coals out there covering thousands of acres.”

The fire was driven by gusty Santa Ana winds that usually run from fall into March then are replaced by foggy mornings as an onshore flow of cool air comes in, Kaplan said.

“This is a very, very strange weather pattern for this time of year,” he said. Instead of the onshore flow heading eastwards from the coast, cold storms in Colorado and further east have been pushing westward, and that air heats up and dries out as it roll downs through the California mountains, he said.

The pattern was expected to begin breaking up Friday afternoon, rapidly cooling over the weekend and there even could be a chance of rain in the fire area on Sunday, the meteorologist said.

The fire erupted during morning rush hour along U.S. 101 in the Camarillo area about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, and winds pushed it down slopes toward subdivisions, soon forcing evacuations of residents in Camarillo and Thousand Oaks.

Marie Turner, 45, was among the displaced at an evacuation center in Thousand Oaks as flames skirted the home her family moved into from Texas less than a year ago. She said in a phone interview she had given little thought to wildfires and worried about an entirely different kind of California threat.

“I’d always heard about earthquakes, it was a big fear of mine before we moved here,” said Turner.

She said she was frightened but didn’t regret the move.

“I’m very positive about being here, and we’re trying to make the most of it,” said Turner.

The smoke-choked campus of CSU Channel Islands was evacuated, and classes were canceled through Friday. The school has about 5,000 students, though only a fraction live on campus.

About 100 miles to the east in Riverside County, two homes were destroyed, two more were damaged and 11 vehicles were destroyed in a 12-acre fire Thursday that fire officials suspect was started by a discarded cigarette.

Elsewhere in the county, a 4 1/2-square-mile blaze that destroyed a home burned for a third day in mountains north of Banning. It was 65 percent contained.

In Northern California’s Tehama County, a wildfire north of Butte Meadows grew overnight although an estimate of its size was revised down from more than 15 square miles to 10 square miles, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

The fire was 10 percent contained. It’s burning in a remote area and is not posing an imminent threat to any structures.

Elsewhere in the region, crews expected to fully contain a 125-acre blaze in Sonoma County and a 200-acre fire in Glenn County on Friday.

Containment of a 55-acre fire in Butte County was expected this weekend.

————

By Christopher Weber and Shaya Tayefe Mohajer. Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Raquel Maria Dillon in Banning, and Robert Jablon and Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Former foster youths aided by UCD’s Guardian programs

    By Sarah Colwell | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City plans signs to improve flow on Fifth Street

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    U.S., Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Feds will discuss Berryessa Snow Mountain protection

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    ‘Longest Night’ service Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Journalist will join post-film discussion Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    City offices will take a winter break

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Yolo County needs a few good advisers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Per Capita Davis: Time to stop fooling around

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    NAMI-Yolo offers free mental health education program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    .

    Forum

    Disagreement on mother’s care

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Marovich is a brilliant diplomat

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    And a jolly time was had by all

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Remember that all lives matter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Pollution from electric vehicles

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    On skiing: What to know when buying new skis

    By Jeffrey Weidel | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devil boys host Les Curry beginning Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD women gear up for second half of swim season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men begin 4-game road trip at Air Force

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: DBC Juniors rider Kanz wins a cyclocross event

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    College Corner: How does applying for financial aid work?

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: B3

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

     
    Anniversary: Barbara and Jan Carter

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Something growing in the mailbox

    By Don Shor | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Sing and dance along to Cold Shot at Froggy’s

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Point of Brew: Recollections of Christmases past

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A7

    Golden Bough brings Irish holidays to The Palms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, December 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Last Minute Gift Guide

    Young phenoms make YouTube success look like child’s play

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG1

    Classic or contemporary, it’s all holiday music to our ears

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG2

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG3

    Gift ideas for the health-conscious

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: LMG6

    Hall of Fame proudly puts these toys on the shelf

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG7