Thirty Los Angeles County firefighters and one helicopter were in Ventura County Monday to help battle a 1,250-acre brush fire at Solimar Beach, authorities said.
The Orange County Fire Authority also sent a strike team consisting of 18 firefighters to help battle the fire in Ventura County, said OCFA Capt. Larry Kurtz.
The fire has spread rapidly, stoked by winds in excess of 40 mph. It was 87 percent contained as of 8:10 a.m. Monday, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
The blaze broke out about 10:40 p.m. Christmas Day, six miles northwest of Ventura, north of the 101 Freeway. Full containment was expected by Tuesday.
A downed private power line is believed to have started the blaze with help from strong winds, Ventura County Fire Chief Mike Lorenzen said. More than 400 firefighters remain at the scene, he said.
“We have made tremendous progress today, despite the challenges of high winds, steep terrain and significant brush,” Lorenzen said. “We were able to bring a stop to all forward progress of the fire and we did not lose any structures.”
Officials said no homes were immediately being threatened, although evacuations were still in place in Solimar Beach and area campgrounds. Emma Wood State Camp remains closed, Lorenzen said. At least 50 homes were under mandatory evacuation in the Solimar Beach community and area campgrounds, and another 30 households were subject to voluntary evacuation in Faria Beach, NBC4 reported.
The Ventura County Office of Emergency Services said all evacuation orders are expected to be lifted at 5 p.m. today.
The 101 Freeway was shut down for hours in both directions between state highways 33 and 150. The northbound lanes re-opened around 1:45 p.m. Sunday, and the southbound lanes re-opened about 20 minutes later.
Pacific Coast Highway is closed between the State Beaches and Seacliff offramps, and is expected to re-open by 5 p.m.
The Ventura County Fire Department reported two minor injuries to firefighters, one an ankle injury and the other an injury to a knee.
A Red Cross shelter is at the Carpinteria Veteran Memorial, 941 Walnut Ave., Carpinteria.
—Staff and wire reports
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