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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 6:45 pm | Fair 55º

 
 
 
 

Arson Ruled Out as Camarillo Springs Fire Reaches 80 Percent Containment

With rain on the way, cooler and damp conditions help firefighters gain the upper hand on 4-day-old wildfire

Full containment of the Camarillo Springs Fire is expected Wednesday as firefighters took advantage of Sunday’s cooler, damp conditions to make significant progress against the 43-square-mile blaze. As of Monday morning, the wildfire was estimated to be 80 percent contained.

A developing low-pressure system was expected to bring a 20 percent chance of showers Sunday night, with rain in the forecast for Monday. Sunday’s conditions were in stark contrast with Friday’s scorching temperatures, single-digit humidity and howling santa ana winds.

“No significant fire behavior was observed overnight, and little to none is expected today with rain in the forecast,” fire officials said.

Ventura County Fire Department officials said the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but investigators do not believe it was arson. The cost of fighting the fire was estimated to be around $5 million, although that number is expected to rise.

The fire ignited early Thursday along southbound Highway 101 on the Conejo Grade and had tripled in size by Friday, eventually growing to 28,000 acres and burning all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Although more than 4,000 homes were threatened by flames at one point, officials say just 15 houses and five commercial buildings were damaged. About two dozen other structures were damaged or destroyed, they said.

According to CalFire, all evacuations were lifted as of Saturday night. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported, although eight firefighters have been hurt battling the blaze.

At its peak Friday night, more than 2,000 fire personnel were on the front lines, including about 65 from Santa Barbara County fire agencies. Crews and equipment from the Carpinteria-Summerland, Lompoc, Montecito, Santa Barbara City, Santa Barbara County and Santa Maria fire departments were deployed to the blaze.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Flames and smoke from the Camarillo Springs Fire mask the setting sun Thursday before houses and ranches were evacuated along Deer Creek and Pacific View roads in the mountains west of Malibu. Residents were allowed to return Saturday evening and found their homes spared but vast swaths of the landscape charred. (Cynthia Estrella family photo)
Flames and smoke from the Camarillo Springs Fire mask the setting sun Thursday before houses and ranches were evacuated along Deer Creek and Pacific View roads in the mountains west of Malibu. Residents were allowed to return Saturday evening and found their homes spared but vast swaths of the landscape charred. (Cynthia Estrella family photo)

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