California wildfire triples in size but cooler weather brings hope


CAMARILLO, CA - MAY 3: Firefighters with the Type 1 Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC), based out of the Lone Peak Conservation Center, in Draper, Utah, build a fire break as the Springs fire continues to grow on May 3, 2013 near Camarillo, California.



LOS ANGELES -- Firefighters battling the 28,000 acre wildfire may finally catch a break on Saturday as cooler temperatures and higher humidity bring some much needed relief.

The fire continued to rage overnight Friday as firefighting teams from across the country battled to keep it contained.

High winds have been gusting up to 45 miles per hour since the fire broke out on Thursday, with the hot, dry conditions creating the perfect conditions for a wildfire to spread.

It nearly tripled in size from 18,000 acres on Friday afternoon to 28,000 acres by Friday evening.

Officials were hopeful on Saturday that cooler temperatures and higher humidity would help keep the fire from spreading.

"It's a total turnaround from what we had," said Kurt Kaplan, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Oxnard. "It should be a much better day for firefighters tomorrow."

The "Springs Fire" has so far torched 28,000 acres in the Ventura County area, about 50 miles north west of Los Angeles, fire authorities said.

"Onshore winds have begun to diminish this evening allowing for the expiration of all red flag warnings," the National Weather Service said late Friday.

NPR station KPCC, which has been providing live updates, reported Friday evening that the fire continued to be 20 percent contained.

The fire has so far damaged 15 homes and 5 commercial properties but is veering dangerously close to more homes and ranches nearer to the Pacific ocean.

State agency Cal Fire said 4,000 homes and 300 commercial properties have been threatened.

Firefighting resources were spread thin on Friday night as more wildfires broke out in the Los Angeles area.

In the suburb of Glendale, just north of Los Angeles, a fire broke out in hills close to many homes, prompting evacuations and closure of two major freeways. 

The fire quickly charred 75 acres but was mostly contained by Saturday morning.