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Fillmore fire: Winds subside; firefighters try to regain advantage

April 09, 2013|By Robert J. Lopez

A brush fire driven by powerful winds slowed to a crawl overnight in Fillmore as gusts died down and gave firefighters a chance to regroup.

"Today is our day to get strong work done," Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Mike Lindbery told The Times early Tuesday. "We have limited time before these predicted Santa Ana winds."

The blaze scorched through about 170 acres in the Ventura County town Monday evening and burned two structures. Lindbery said he could not immediately determine how much of the fire had been contained.

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The blaze burned on a day when winds up to 50 mph battered Southern California and left thousands of people from Lancaster to Pomona without power.

On Tuesday, about 400 firefighters from several jurisdictions continued to battle the Fillmore blaze, which had forced authorities to order about 200 people to evacuate their homes as flames burned palm trees and thick mountainside vegetation.

The evacuations were lifted at 12:30 a.m.

On Monday afternoon, the fire, which was sparked by a downed power line, burned a mobile home in the 1400 block of Goodenough Road and then spread to nearby brush and began burning uphill.

Helicopters made repeated water drops, but air operations were halted after darkness descended.

No injuries were reported overnight.

On Monday, about 84 homes were ordered to be evacuated in an area north of the 900 block of Central Avenue in Fillmore, said Capt. Dave Wareham of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

The affected homes were on streets that included Foothill Road,  Arundell Circle and Hunter Drive. 

Wareham said residents were notified via a reverse-911 system and were told they could seek shelter at the Fillmore Veterans Memorial Building at 511 2nd St. 

Monday night, about 1,800 people lost power in cities served by Southern California Edison, the utility said. In Los Angeles, about 13,000 people lost power in Koreatown, Mid-Wilshire and the San Fernando Valley, the Department of Water and Power said.

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