Thursday, April 24, 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)

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.

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
4-H members get ready for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Attorneys at odds over Woodland infant’s death

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 3 Comments

 
2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
MOMS Club plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

 
Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6