World

California wildfire nearly contained

A wildfire burning in the mountains of Ventura County in Southern California was 75 per cent contained Friday as 2,700 firefighters battling the blaze were aided by the abatement of hot, dry winds.
Firefighters spray water on a flareup at the edge of an avocadon and citrus grove near the Ventura County town of Fillmore, Calif., Wednesday. ((Reed Saxon/Associated Press))

A wildfire burning in the mountains of Ventura County in Southern California was 75 per cent contained Friday as 2,700 firefighters battling the blaze were aided by the abatement of hot, dry winds. 

Full containment was expected Saturday, Ventura County fire spokesman Bill Nash said. Fire crews had gone into the hills to carve firebreaks on the northeastern and western flanks of the 11,140-hectare fire, he added.

Erupting Tuesday north of the city of Moorpark, the fire spread through hills, mountains and agricultural lands, including avocado orchards. Two buildings were destroyed. Only 25 homes remain threatened, and those are mainly scattered farmhouses.

The cause of the fire, which began near an agricultural mulch pile, was being investigated, authorities said. About 90 kilometres to the east, the once-massive Station fire that killed two firefighters, burned down 89 homes and burned 40,300 hectares of forest was 98 per cent contained.

Officials had hoped to have it fully contained by midnight Thursday, but couldn't get crews in to parts of the fire's perimeter in rough terrain.

The revised estimate is it will be fully surrounded with the season's first rain, U.S. Forest Service fire spokesman Bob Poole said. Southern California's rainy season usually begins in November.

With files from The Associated Press

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