Wildfire rages along California coast

'Springs fire' threatens at least 3,000 homes

May 3, 2013

A wildfire, fueled by wind, raged along the California coast north of Los Angeles on Friday. The so-called Springs fire threatens at least 3,000 homes and has prompted evacuations of several residential areas and a university campus.

The fast-growing wildfire along the Pacific Coast Highway jumped the roadway Friday morning, threatening parts of a U.S. naval installation. The airfield at Point Mugu remained open on a mission-essential basis and had not been evacuated. The naval base, with a population of more than 19,000 personnel, operates two runways, a sea-test range and deep-water port. Base personnel were advised to stay indoors.

Evacuations ordered for the California State University at Channel Islands campus remained in effect on Friday, according to the school’s website. All classes and activities were canceled. The Ventura Fire Department sent 20 fire engines to the campus to protect buildings as flames approached apartments on the eastern edge of the campus.

Thousands of people have fled the area of the wildfire. So far, the fire has damaged 15 homes, threatened 3,000 more and 100 businesses in its race toward Malibu.

The fire has burned more than 10,000 acres in Ventura County and is expected to gain strength. It is 10% contained and has burned from Camarillo south of the 101 Freeway all the way to the Pacific Coast Highway.

The outbreak of brush and wildfires marked the start of a fire season in California that weather forecasters predict will be worsened by a summer of high temperatures and drought throughout much of the U.S. West.

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