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Fillmore brush fire contained; 170 acres burned

April 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Crews have contained a Fillmore brush fire that destroyed two buildings and forced residents in the area to evacuate.

Investigators on Tuesday snapped photos and scoured the front yard of a mobile home where the fire first ignited.

The blaze, which charred 170 acres, broke out around 3:15 p.m. Monday north of Highway 126 near Hunter Drive. Dubbed the "Goodenough Incident," it charred two buildings and forced dozens of people out of their homes, including Sharyn Burson.

"I went down the street with my daughter to see what was going on, where the smoke was, and by the time I got home, which is a couple blocks away, I told my husband the backyard is going to be on fire, and he grabbed the hose, and the backyard got on fire," Burson said.

Officials said strong gusts blew embers and thick smoke across the mountainside. The fire burned perilously close to many homes.

"This time it went so fast," Burson said. "It was minutes by the time it got here, where the other ones were a lot slower."

Gene Evans said he stood on a hillside and watched the wind kick up the flames. The blaze was about five blocks from his house.

"The smoke was so thick that it wouldn't let us get a good view from where we were," Evans said.

More than 80 homes were evacuated as a result of the wind-driven brush fire, but the mandatory evacuation orders were lifted shortly after midnight.

"Any time we have a wind-driven fire, it's really unpredictable. So just to be able to wrap our arms around where the fire could go next, what the wind's going to do, what the gusts are going to do, those are probably the most challenging," said Capt. Steve Kaufmann with the Ventura County Fire Department.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, but there were reports of a downed power line in the area. No injuries were reported. About 400 firefighters from across Southern California worked overnight to help contain the fire.

Firefighters remained on scene to watch for flare-ups.


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