Forward Progress Stopped After Wildfire Sparked by Bullet Scorches At Least 131 Acres Near Santa Clara River West of Fillmore

Data pix.

Firefighters got the upper hand on wildfire that burned at least 131 acres and threatened several structures near the Santa Clara River west of Fillmore on Sunday, fire officials said. It was believed to have been sparked by a bullet fired during target practice on a nearby private property.

The fire near the 21600 block of South Mountain Road was first reported at about 11:45 p.m. and triggered a large firefighting response in the rugged terrain, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

At about 12:40 p.m., fire officials reported the fire was at 20 acres, but then said it grew to 50-60 acres about 20 minutes later.

By 2:25 p.m., the fire grew to 120 acres.

"The fire is burning to the East and away from the structures," fire officials said on Twitter.

As the fire grew, additional fire engines and air support were requested, according to the department.

Firefighters were expected to stay at the scene throughout the evening, but officials said they were making progress fighting the fire at about 3:44 p.m.

Forward progress of the fire had been stopped before 5 p.m., officials said. Three firefighters were treated for injuries described as minor. Two suffered dehydration and one suffered an ankle injury.

Authorities announced the flames were 60% contained shortly after 7 p.m.

The flames were caused by "target practice on private property," Ventura County Fire Department officials said via social media.

A photo from the scene showed a thick cloud of smoke billowing over the hills as an aircraft dropped red fire retardant overhead.

Smoke from the fire was visible from State Route 126 near Santa Paula.

"If you are driving on State Route 126 near #SantaPaula please be aware that emergency vehicles are responding to the #SouthFire brushfire south of the city," Caltrans said on Twitter.

Fire officials have not specified the cause of the fire, but it comes as a heat wave gripped Southern California, with some parts experiencing triple-digit temperatures over the weekend.

The temperature at the time of the fire was reported at about 91 degrees in Fillmore .

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