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Firefighters Battling Blaze North of Ojai

August 13, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

OJAI — More than 110 firefighters were battling a blaze Wednesday night about 20 miles north of Ojai near a campground in the Los Padres National Forest, authorities said.

As of 9:30 p.m., the Potrero fire had burned 20 acres of brush, two county-owned sheds and two vehicles. Containment was expected by midnight Wednesday and the fire could be out by 6 p.m. today, said Joe Pasinato, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman.

"What I can say right now is there is no appreciable forward rate of speed," Pasinato said late Wednesday. "We're looking at a fire that's seen its high point."

The blaze started about 5:10 p.m. near the Potrero Seco Campground, situated about two miles west of California 33 in the forest. The cause of the fire was unknown, and officials were uncertain whether it started on forest land or private property.

There were no injuries reported and no further information on the destroyed property. Two water-dropping helicopters were being used, as well as a 20-person crew from Vandenberg Air Force Base and firefighters from Ventura County and the Forest Service.

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