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Additional Crews Fly in to Help Fight Pine Fire in Ventura County’s Sespe Wilderness

Blaze had charred 2,058 acres and was 30% contained as of Wednesday night

The Pine Fire burning in Ventura County  had charred 2,058 acres and was 18-percent contained as of Wednesday morning. Click to view larger
The Pine Fire burning in Ventura County had charred 2,058 acres and was 18-percent contained as of Wednesday morning.  (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Additional crews were flown in Wednesday to help fight the Pine Fire burning in the Sespe Wilderness in Ventura County, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The blaze had grown to 2,058 acres as of Wednesday night, and was 30-percent contained, Forest Service spokeswoman Jennifer Gray said.

A string of pack mules is being used to resupply firefighters in the remote area, with each of the 10 animals carrying about 150 pounds of gear, Gray said said.

Packers from the Los Padres, Inyo and Sierra national forests are looking for a location to use as a base of operations, and the mule loads will be used to restock firefighters on the line, Gray said.

The Pine Fire started the morning of June 30 and the cause is still under investigation.

Firefighting crews are trying to box in the fire, with containment lines at Lockwood Valley on the north, Pine Mountain Ridge on the south, Grade Valley Road on the east, and a bulldozer line on the west from the Ozena Fire Station to south Pine Mountain Road, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Helicopters are providing air support and 693 people are assigned to the fire.

The blaze is burning 11 miles north of Ojai in the Sespe Wilderness and is threatening 51 structures, with none damaged so far.

There is a voluntary evacuation in effect for the Camp Scheideck community but no mandatory evacuations have been issued, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The Reyes Creek Campground and the Grade Valley area are closed to the public because of potential fire hazards, Gray said. Other closures include the Pine Mountain Recreational Area at Highway 33, the Piedra Blanca trailhead, and the Chorro Grande trailhead.

Fire agencies remind people not to fly drones in or near wildfire areas.

“Ten helicopters are assisting with retardant drops and transporting personnel and supplies in and out of the fire area,” Gray said. “Flying a drone near a wildfire is prohibited due to temporary flight restrictions in airspace implemented by the FAA. Remember, if you fly, we can’t.”

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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