50-Acre Brush Fire Erupts Along 101 Freeway in Camarillo; Traffic Impacted

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A 50-acre brush fire was burning along the 101 Freeway near the Conejo Grade in the Camarillo area Tuesday afternoon, Ventura County officials said.

The brush fire was burning on the northbound side of the freeway at the Camarillo Springs exit, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

Plumes of thick, black smoke appeared to be visible for miles around in the mid-afternoon hours, aerial video from a Ventura County helicopter showed.

As of 10:00 p.m., the blaze was holding at about 50 acres and 30 percent contained, officials said.

“Crews working hard at putting out hot spots and containment lines,” a tweet from an account for the Fire Department’s public information officer stated.

A water-dropping helicopter was being utilized in the firefight.

Crews have made progress in battling the flames, but fire officials said there was no immediate estimate yet on containment.

Traffic lanes were impacted, with at least one lane — the No. 3 on the northbound side — being closed. Traffic was jammed in the area, and the California Highway Patrol encouraged motorists to use the 118 Freeway as an alternate route.

A smoke advisory has been issued for neighboring Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, according to the Fire Department.

An arson investigator said the fire most likely started accidentally, but the exact cause was still under investigation.