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CA wildfire burns homes

Firefighters have a destructive southern California wildfire under control.

BY HEATHER MOYER | MOORPARK, Calif. | December 5, 2006

Firefighters almost have a destructive southern California wildfire under control, but not before the blaze burned five homes and damaged several others.

The Shekell wildfire is more than 80% contained and officials expect full containment by the end of the day Tuesday. The wildfire started early Sunday and quickly spread to more than 10,000 acres.

Five homes in the community of Moorpark burned, along with one business. Another five homes and two businesses were damaged. The fire was being fueled by 60-mph Santa Ana winds, as well as heavy brush and dense thickets of shrubs and small trees. Firefighters struggled Monday to protect tract homes, horse ranches, and citrus orchards.

Moorpark is about 29 miles northwest of Los Angeles in eastern Ventura County.

At one point, hundreds of nearby residents were on alert to evacuate. Schools were closed Monday as well. The American Red Cross opened shelters at the Thousand Oaks Community Center and Royal High School in Simi Valley.

A former packaging plant burned, occasionally letting off small explosions, and firefighters were letting that burn itself out while they concentrated on protecting homes.

More than 1,000 firefighters were working to contain the blaze.

The National Weather Service issued a 'red flag' warning of extreme fire danger because of the high wind and dry conditions.

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California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection

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