Firefighters made a pitched battle Friday to protect the Hidden Valley area of Ventura County from the Springs fire.
Authorities said more than 1,000 firefighters were at work, unloading torrents of water and flame retardant to battle the fire as it ran up canyons and crept within 100 feet of homes in the affluent area of Ventura County. The wildfire burned through 28,000 acres, and firefighters had only 20% of the blaze surrounded as of Friday evening, authorities said.
The fire had already made a harrowing reversal on Friday, buffeted by more on-shore wind than officials expected, endangering areas that had previously escaped the first wave of flames in the fire’s path. Officials, who had estimated the fire would be under control by May 13, said they might have to revise those expectations because of Friday’s conditions.
Those on the frontlines were hopeful that Saturday’s forecasts of a 20-degree temperature drop, higher humidity and light rain would hold true, handing them a much-needed assist.