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Fire Threatens 50 Ranch Homes Near Camarillo

November 11, 1986|SAM ENRIQUEZ and T. W. McGARRY | Times Staff Writers

A brush fire driven by Santa Ana winds gusting up to 50 m.p.h. burned more than 10,000 acres north of Camarillo on Monday, threatening about 50 ranch homes.

More than 200 firefighters, aided by six retardant-dropping tanker planes and two helicopters, prevented any homes or buildings from burning, said Ventura County Assistant Fire Chief Don Ellis. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters hoped to contain the blaze by late this afternoon. Ellis said he expected it to consume at least 12,000 acres.

The fire broke out just before 11 a.m. near Bradley Road, about four miles north of Camarillo, and spread north over South Mountain to the banks of the Santa Clara River. A wind from the west that flows up the river channel pushed the fire toward the east until the prevailing Santa Ana winds of about 20 to 25 m.p.h. from the northeast drove it back to the south, said Dana De Diana, information officer for the Ventura County Fire Department.

The area contains scattered citrus ranches, she said. Most of the threatened homes were in the area of La Loma Avenue, Ellis said.

"The main problem has been people losing their trees," said Steve Hammer, 45, who grows oranges and lemons.

He said the fire consumed a row of trees only 20 yards from his house but that the Fire Department "had a fire truck right here--there was one for everybody's house."

The force fighting the fire included 22 engine crews from Ventura County, 10 from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and 10 from the California Department of Forestry.

The cause of the fire was not known.

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