Sunday, June 1, 2008

Persimmon Hill Homes Escape Brushfire

Firefighters quickly gained the upper hand on a two-acre grass fire Sunday afternoon
Photos by James Scheck/Brooks Institute of Photography

By Lenny Roberts
On the first day property owners were mandated to adhere to the county's annual brush-clearance ordinance, 10 to 12 homes escaped a quick-moving fire Sunday afternoon that began in the 300 block of Saddle Lane. A large plume of gray smoke could quickly be seen rising above the city.
The multi-million-dollar homes in one of Ojai's most prestigious areas were threatened as the wind-fed fire burned through the mostly dead grass.
"It was quickly outrunning us," said Ventura County Battalion Chief Glenn Garcia, "and was getting way too close." Garcia said the flames burned right up to where property owners had complied with the June 1 brush-clearance order.
As a precaution, Garcia called for, and received, assistance from the Ventura and Santa Paula city fire departments, and crews from the Los Padres National Forest. A county helicopter was dispatched an landed at the scene, but water drops were not necessary.
The fire, of unknown origin, was reported at 2:10 p.m. Full containment was reported at 3:12 p.m.

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