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California wildfires: Springs fire reaches PCH in Ventura County

May 02, 2013|By Robert J. Lopez and Marisa Gerber

A massive wildfire that was devouring huge swaths of brush in Ventura County reached the Pacific Coast on Thursday night after burning for more than 14 hours, officials said.

The Springs fire, which had charred at least 8,000 acres of vegetation, reached Pacific Coast Highway near Yerba Buena Road,  Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Bill Nash told KCAL-TV Channel 9.

The fire had been raging for more than 14 hours after breaking out shortly before 7 a.m. near Camarillo Springs.

As darkness descended, air operations were shut down. That forced fire crews to battle the blaze with chainsaws, shovels and hose lines connected to fire engines, the Ventura County Fire Department said.

"We're fighting it the old fashioned down-and-dirty way with boots on the ground," Nash told KTLA-TV Channel 5.  "It's hot, dangerous dirty work."

As huge walls of flame moved steadily toward the sea, authorities evacuated residents in the canyon neighborhoods between Thousand Oaks and Pacific Coast Highway. The highway was closed for the second time Thursday night as the fire was raging in the rugged canyons about a mile from the coast, authorities said.

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Twitter: @LAJourno

robert.lopez@latimes.com

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