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Ventura County fire contained; mop up underway

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POSTED April 9, 2013 6:52 p.m.

FILLMORE  (AP) — Ventura County firefighters have contained the remnants of a wildfire that burned two homes and threatened more than 100 others in Fillmore on Tuesday, officials said.

The 148-acre fire was 100 percent surrounded by noon, with full control expected Wednesday, said Mike Lindbery, county fire spokesman.

The fire broke out Monday afternoon in a mobile home in Fillmore and was rapidly spread by powerful winds. Flames forced temporary evacuations in the northern part of that city.

Decreasing winds overnight allowed about 400 firefighters to make progress against a blaze that burned light grass and thin chaparral, which burns quickly but also fiercely and which was as dry as it normally becomes in June.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

At its peak, 40-mph winds pushed down a canyon and through orchards and fields.

Neighbors on one street grabbed hoses to wet down houses in a cul-de-sac, resident Jackie Gurrola told the Ventura County Star.

Flames came within about 150 yards of her house, she said.

The smoke was thick "even with all the doors and windows closed," Gurrola said. "We're all wearing masks. My husband cut up some T-shirts for us."

Sue and Rick Cuttriss, and Susan and Ed Hopkins evacuated and stayed with friends, watching the blaze on television.

"I'm seeing my house right now, and there are fire trucks in my driveway," Susan Hopkins said Monday.

The families have evacuated four other times since they moved in more than 30 years ago.

"We burn every five or six years, so we have the evacuation down to a science," she said.


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