USA — Riskynighttime helicopter flights helped firefighters beat back a wildfire thattemporarily threatened 20 homes in Ventura County foothills, a fire officialsaid Tuesday.
The 30-acre blaze was extinguished by 6 p.m. despite fire danger frompotential gusty winds and low humidity, county fire Capt. Barry Parker said.Nohomes were damaged, and there were no evacuations or injuries, he said.
The blaze broke out Monday in an area of hills carved with cul de sacscontaining new homes nestled among oaks trees and 10- to 12-foot-tall brush,Parker said.
About 200 firefighters fought the blaze.
Firefighters were able to set some backfires and keep the fire fromgetting too close to the homes and they remained guarding buildings overnight,Parker said.
Helicopters also made unusual nighttime water drops despite the hazard ofpower lines, he said.
It is extremely dangerous but officials felt the flights were neededbecause the homes were in danger, he said.
Residents had cut back brush from their homes, and new building codesrequiring fire-resistant tile roofs and stucco walls also helped prevent embersfrom igniting, Parker said.
Thousand Oaks, with a population of 127,000, is about 40 miles west ofdowntown Los Angeles.