Shifts In Weather And Strategy Help Slow Springs Wildfire

Standing on a rooftop, a man looks at the Springs fire's approaching flames in California Friday. The wildfire, reportedly, 20 percent contained, might be weakened by high humidity and cooler temperatures Saturday. David McNew/Getty Images

Standing on a rooftop, a man looks at the Springs fire’s approaching flames in California Friday. The wildfire, reportedly, 20 percent contained, might be weakened by high humidity and cooler temperatures Saturday. David McNew/Getty Images

Firefighters in Southern California are welcoming the latest weather forecast, as lower temperatures and higher humidity could help them control the Camarillo Springs Fire. But the wildfire along the coast remains formidable: It has reportedly burned at least 43 square miles of land and property, nearly doubling in size Friday.

As of Friday night, the fire in Southern California was 20 percent contained, reports member station KPCC, which has been providing live updates on the blaze. Portions of the Pacific Coast Highway remained closed early Friday evening, despite earlier plans to reopen the road. The fire in Ventura County started Thursday morning, about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

After the fire spread to the beaches lining the Pacific Ocean, officials had hoped it might begin to lose momentum. But a shift in the wind sent it speeding back inland, where it filled canyons with fire and smoke Friday.

Forcing evacuations in several communities, the fire has threatened thousands of homes, a university, and a military base. But so far, only 15 homes have reportedly been damaged, in an area where rugged wilderness provides plentiful fuel for fires.

Residents tell the AP is partly the result of strategic thinking:

“[Camarillo Springs] homes were built with sprinkler systems and fireproof exteriors from the roofs to the foundations. Residents are required to clear brush and other combustible materials to within 100 feet of the dwellings, and developers had to make sure the cul-de-sacs that fill the area’s canyons were built wide enough to accommodate the emergency vehicles seen on TV racing in to battle the flames.”

“‘All of our rooftops are concrete tile and all of the exteriors are stucco,’ said Neal Blaney, a board member of The Springs Homeowners Association and a 15-year resident. ‘There’s no wood, so there’s almost no place for a flying ember to land and ignite something.'”

According to The Los Angeles Times, another factor is a shift in firefighters’ approach in the years since the Green Meadow wildfire destroyed more than 50 homes back in November of 1993.

“With this fire, having experienced Green Meadow, our commanding officers realized much sooner that we were not going to get ahead of this fire,” Ventura County Fire Capt. Scott Dettorre said Friday. “Consequently, we were able to put plans in place to minimize damage to a much greater extent. It is the lessons of Green Meadow that is allowing us to do what we are doing out here.”

For our Newscast unit, NPR’s Mandalit del Barco reports:

“Nearly 1,000 firefighters are working to contain the flames, with more on the way. They’ve been dumping fire retardant chemicals from air tanker planes. Officials predict it could take all weekend to fully contain the fires.”

 

Read original article

Shifts In Weather And Strategy Help Slow Springs Wildfire

Recent headlines

  • dollar bill money macro

    Per diems driving special session costs

    Lawmakers who represent areas outside Juneau receive $295 for each day of the special session. Juneau lawmakers receive $221.25 per day.
  • Caroline Hoover proudly pins an Alaska Territorial Guard medal on the front of her father's parka during an official discharge ceremony held Oct. 17 in Kipnuk, Alaska. David Martin is one of three surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard's Kipnuk unit. A total of 59 residents of Kipnuk, who volunteered to defend Alaska in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II, were recognized during the ceremony. Kipnuk residents who served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1942-1947 were members of a U.S. Army component organized in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. (Photo by Jerry Walton, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs cultural resource manager and native liaison/public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    16 Alaska Territorial Guard vets to be honored in Anchorage

    Sixteen veterans of the Alaska Territorial Guard will be honored at a discharge ceremony today. Four of them are from Western Alaska.
  • Don Andrew Roguska looks out from an upstairs window of an historic Juneau house he bought in 2016 to restore. Zoning regulations have prevented him from rebuilding in the same style. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

    Juneau mulls relaxing zoning rules for historic houses

    The historic houses in Juneau and Douglas were predominately built by miners and fishermen long before today's zoning was put into place. That's prevented homeowners from restoring or rebuilding homes in these neighborhoods without running into conflict with the city's zoning laws -- a temporary fix may be on the way.
  • Young joins Afghanistan war skeptics in Congress

    Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young wants to know why Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. He has co-sponsored a bill that would end funding for the war in a year, unless the president and Congress affirm the need for it.
X