UPDATE: Cooler temperatures are helping crews get a handle on the wind-whipped 28,000 acre fire in Ventura County between Highway 101 and the Pacific Ocean. The fire is 90 percent contained as of Monday morning. The cause is still under investigation.
By Saturday night, all evacuation orders for residents affected by the Springs Fire had been lifted, including those for the communities on Yerba Buena Road and Deer Creek Road.
Pacific Coast Highway is open in both directions. Motorists are advised to use caution due to potential rock slides in the area and movement of fire equipment along the highway.
Full containment of the fire is expected late Monday.
15 homes, 5 commercial properties and 15 out buildings are damaged. So far, none have been destroyed.
Strong, gusting winds up to 47 miles an hour out of the north east fanned the flames west, toward the ocean, hampering the air attack.
Ventura County Fire officials confirm fixed-wing air tankers are grounded because of the weather conditions, however, three water-dropping helicopters are still fighting the massive fire from above.
The Springs fire broke out just after 6:30 Thursday morning near the base of the Conejo Grade. Ventura County Sheriff’s officials told NewsChannel 3 the fire started along the shoulder of southbound Highway 101.
Officials with C.S.U. Channel Islands tell NewsChannel 3 that students will be allowed to move back on campus Sunday night at 5p.m. Classes will resume Monday morning. The university has cleaned the interior of all the buildings affected by the Springs Fire. But, clean-up on the campus will continue over the next several weeks.
The university campus was evacuated Thursday morning. Students were told via an emergency email alert to grab wallets, cell phones, laptops and leave as fast as possible. The flames made it to the edge of campus but did not damage any structures.
The Red Cross will continue to serve those impacted by the Spring Fire. Red Cross outreach teams will be in the affected areas on Sunday, May 5, meeting with families whose homes were damaged to ensure that their immediate disaster-caused needs have been met.
As of 7 a.m. Thursday, the fire was 10 acres in size; it blew up to 2,000 acres by 10 a.m.
Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze on the ground and from the air. Air tankers and water-dropping helicopters are attacking the flames from above.
Hundreds of firefighters are on scene from all over southern and central California.
“All residents in the area need to be ready with important belongings ready to go,” said Ventura County Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery.
Most of the fire is burning in the Pt. Mugu State Park. A Ventura County Sheriff’s official told NewsChannel 3 this rugged terrain has not burned since 1993. The brush is 20 years old and very dense. The 1993 fire cause all sorts of problems for firefighters because the off-shore winds pushed the fire to the ocean and then the on-shore winds kicked in and pushed the fire into places that hadn’t burned yet.
Watch NewsChannel 3 for the very latest on this fire.Crews battling 6500 acre Springs wildfire in Ventura County