Springs Fire burns 28,000 acres; 20 percent contained
CAMARILLO, Calif. (KABC) -- The Springs Fire that erupted in Camarillo has shifted directions, prompting new evacuations and new concerns. It has burned 28,000 acres and is 20 percent contained.
The fire, dubbed the Springs Fire, was moving toward Malibu in the morning, but by late afternoon, the fire shifted once again and moved toward Newbury Park.
"There's definitely a lot of work to be done on this fire. We're not close to having it out by any means," said Ventura County Capt. Dan Horton.
Controlled burns were expected throughout the night. By 11 p.m., evacuations were still in place for the Sycamore Canyon, Deer Creek, Yerba Buena, Broome, La Jolla, Leo Carrillo, Cotharin Road areas.
Since the fire began early Thursday morning in Camarillo, the wind-whipped fire has threatened 4,000 homes. Fifteen homes suffered some damage, but none have been destroyed. At least 25 outbuildings and other property were destroyed.
Caltrans re-opened Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1) between Las Posas Road in Camarillo and Mulholland Drive north of Malibu Friday night.
Ventura County Fire Department officials knocked down the fire in that area, but the hillside is subject to falling debris and rockslides as there is little vegetation, Caltrans said.
In a statement, Caltrans said the California Highway Patrol will escort vehicles through the area led by a Caltrans truck in order to review any active slides and stop traffic if necessary.
Caltrans planned to place trucks along the shoulder to protect motorists from areas where debris is coming down the hill.
A Caltrans geologist was scheduled to survey the hillside Saturday to determine its stability.
Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive carefully through the area or take U.S. Highway 101 as an alternate route.
The Springs Fire gained ground overnight, burning through a canyon on Deer Creek Road. The fire rapidly ate through bone-dry brush and kicked up embers and ash into the air. At times, it was a wall of flames and a ceiling of smoke.
Further up Deer Creek, the fire jumped the road, spreading quickly and getting very close to homes. By the roadblock on Pacific Coast Highway, evacuated residents like Heidi Hutchinson watched and waited. Hutchinson left her house with her dog Mo, but not much else.
"We stayed at a motel on Agoura last night," she said. "Today, I'm trying to get back to the house to get some things out."
Carson Dohan and his family were watching the fire on TV miles away from their home, but by Thursday afternoon, they saw smoke and flames from their windows.
"The fire was really close to us, and we decided to just water our house down," Dohan said. "It got dark out, and we couldn't breathe because of the smoke, so we just left."
While they're worried about their home, they weren't going to let the Springs Fire ruin an otherwise beautiful day. So they spent their morning surfing.
"Can't do much, just get them out in the water, try to keep it fun and hope for the best," said Dohan's father Gino Nesinas.
Road and school closures
Pacific Coast Highway, between Las Posas Road and Yerba Buena, was closed twice due to potential rockslides.
California State University, Channel Islands will be closed Friday. Conejo Valley Unified School District said all of its schools are open Friday, despite previous reports that Sycamore Canyon and Cypress elementary schools would be closed.
Areas south of Potrero Road are under mandatory evacuation orders. Neighborhoods in Deer Creek and Yerba Buena are also under mandatory evacuation. Voluntary evacuation orders were issued for areas east of Wendy Drive, north of Potrero Road, south of Lynn Road and west of W. Kelley Road.
Authorities are urging residents who are in evacuation zones to heed orders and leave immediately.
Shelters are available for residents at Thousand Oaks Community Park, 2525 N. Moorpark Rd., Calvary Community Chapel, 380 Mobil Ave., and Malibu High School, 30215 Morning View Dr.
Small animals may be taken to either Red Cross shelter, Ventura County Animal Control in Camarillo or Los Angeles County Animal Control in Agoura Hills. Large animals may be brought to Ventura County Fairgrounds. Residents who need more information can call Ventura County fire officials at (805) 388-4276.
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