Brush fire forces evacuations from Brooks Institute in Ventura

VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- A brush fire broke out behind the Brooks Institute Ventura Campus Thursday, forcing the evacuation of about 150 people.

The blaze broke out in the riverbed near the campus in the 5300 block of North Ventura Avenue at about 3:54 p.m. About 120 firefighters from the Ventura County Fire Department, Ventura Fire Department and Cal Fire responded to the scene.

As of 9 p.m., the fire was 35 percent contained.

Ventura Avenue will be closed between Canada Larga and Crooked Palm Road until 11 p.m. The Ojai Valley bike trail is closed south of Petrochem.

Highway 33 remains open in both directions.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office is investigating the fire as possible arson and interviewing witnesses in the area. No further details were immediately released.

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