Heavy wind gusts might have caused South Mountain brush fire
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: January 04, 2013
A brush fire driven by gusts of up to 40 mph Santa Ana winds burned along the north face of South Mountain early Wednesday, a blaze that could have been worse if not for recent rains.
The fire was declared 100 percent contained January 2 at about 10 a.m., more than six hours after it was first reported around 3:25 a.m. The fire was reported to be burning about halfway up the mountain in the 17900 block of South Mountain Road, in the area where the southbound road takes a turn to the east and follows along the route of the Santa Clara River.
Although fully contained, firefighters will remain on scene throughout the day to investigate the cause of the fire, which burned three acres on the west side of Spur Ridge. Although the cause of the fire is as yet undetermined, reportedly first unit responders found power lines down that initially blocked access to the fire.
Incoming units were diverted from the downed power and low hanging power lines by firefighters who used glow sticks to mark the dangerous areas. Twenty-seven units in all, including a Ventura County Sheriffs Office helicopter, responded to the fire, which was declared approximately 70 percent contained at 7:30 a.m.
No structures were threatened by the blaze, which officials believe could have been worse. Recent rains helped to slow the spread of the fire by producing newer greenery that did not burn as quickly as dry brush, even as the winds continued to gust throughout the early morning hours.