Cost of fighting Ventura County fire at $4.5 million and rising

May 04, 2013|By Louis Sahagun

The estimated cost of fighting the massive Springs fire in Ventura County stands at $4.5 million and continues to rise, officials said.

Assisted by water-dropping helicopters and planes, about 2,000 firefighters from across California and neighboring states continue to battle the 3-day-old wildfire, whose cause has not been determined. But cooler temperatures and rising humidity Saturday has helped firefighters in their efforts to get a handle on the blaze burning near Thousand Oaks.  

By Saturday afternoon, the Springs Fire Incident Command Post, sandwiched between agricultural fields and Camarillo Airport, was base camp for the firefighters whose mission had abruptly shifted from aggressive firefighting to mop-up operations and helping residents safely return to their homes in areas that had been evacuated.

Officials are cautiously optimistic.

“If everything goes well today, and the weather behaves tomorrow, we’ll be rapidly shrinking this base camp,” said Capt. Michael Lindbery as fire engines rumbled past, helicopters roared overhead and beleaguered firefighters sprawled on the grass. “By next week, it will be nearly gone.”


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