Springs Fire 80% Contained; Crews Shift to Mop-Up

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CAMARILLO, Calif. — The damp and cooler weather has helped firefighters get a handle on the Springs Fire, which scorched 28,000 acres in Ventura County.

The fire was 80 percent contained as of Monday morning, the Ventura County Fire Department said, with full containment expected Tuesday.

Firefighters made the transition to mop-up mode on Sunday, but they weren’t letting down their guard.

There were still more than 1,000 firefighters on the lines, 62 engines and six helicopters.

The fire, which burned from Thousand Oaks to the ocean, damaged 15 homes and destroyed at least 25 other structures.

It threatened 4,000 homes at its peak, fire officials said.

Six firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze, and one civilian was also injured.

Although the cause of the fire remains under investigation, officials said Sunday that they have ruled out arson.

Instead, they believe the fire was started by a small “undetermined roadside ignition of grass/debris.”

The fire started Thursday off the southbound 101 Freeway near Thousand Oaks, just north of the truck scales on the Conejo Grade, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The flames spread quickly in the steep terrain, fanned by strong Santa Ana winds.

Firefighters got a welcome reprieve Saturday with a dramatic change in the weather that brought significantly lower temperatures and high humidity.

The humidity was so high Saturday that firefighters had trouble setting backfires.

Cal Fire authorities dispatched hundreds of firefighters from across the state to Ventura County.

Firefighters and additional ground personnel were also deployed from Oregon, Arizona, Idaho and New Mexico.

At the peak of the fire, more than 1,800 fire personnel were on the scene.

But by late Saturday, fire officials began releasing some engine companies sand all mandatory evacuations were lifted.

-KTLA/Los Angeles Times

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