Firefighters battle wildfires in Kern, Ventura counties

Firefighters battle wildfires in Kern,Ventura counties

8 December 2006

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USA — Wildfires burned in Kern and Ventura counties Friday as rainy weathermoved toward Southern California, bringing a possible break in extremely dryconditions that have dominated the fall.

A 2,500-acre blaze in southern Kern County was 50 percent contained despite30 mph winds, said county fire Capt. Chuck Dickson.

No homes were threatened by the blaze, which burned west of the Grapevinesection of Interstate 5 in the Tehachapi Mountains north of Los Angeles.

About 350 firefighters were on the lines and containment was expected bySaturday evening.

“We’ve got good handles on the sides of this fire and the back,”Dickson said.

In Simi Valley, northwest of Los Angeles, a new fire broke out in brownrolling hills of Ventura County.

The fire burned up to some homes in a housing tract but crews kept it fromdamaging any buildings and wind pushed it away, Ventura County fire Capt. BarryParker said. There were no evacuations.

The fire erupted about 1:30 p.m. and burned more than 360 acres. Threehundred firefighters were aided by aircraft. The blaze was 100 percent containedby late Friday.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Southern California appeared to be in for a break from the single-digithumidity levels that have allowed a series of wildfires to easily spread intinder-dry vegetation.

The National Weather Service said there was a chance of rain in the region byearly Saturday, increasing on Sunday.

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