TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Cooler temps to ease California wildfire threat

REUTERS
Firefighters start a backfire into the Santa Monica Mountains in an effort to control the Springs Fire near Newbury Park, Calif., on Saturday, May 4, 2013.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Los Angeles Times
Saturday, May 4, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
 

LOS ANGELES — Cool temperatures and moist air are expected to continue to help firefighters get a handle on a huge wildfire near Thousand Oaks through the weekend, with a 50 percent chance of rain on Sunday.

High temperatures throughout most of the region were forecast to drop to the low 60s and mid-70s on Saturday from just over 90 degrees the day before, said Scott Sukup, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

The cooling weather and rising humidity levels caused the weather service on Friday night to cancel red-flag fire warnings in the area.

The humidity, a measure of moisture in the air, was expected to rise steadily through Saturday, officials said. “It should rise to about 60 to 70 percent as the day goes on, climbing higher overnight,” said Sukup, who noted that when the Springs fire began in the Thousand Oaks area on Thursday, relative humidity was about 5 percent.

The cooler, damper air is part of a marine layer that Sukup said would affect much of Southern California during the next several days. The chance of rain will rise to about 50 percent on Sunday and Monday. Sukup said temperatures in in the Springs fire area will continue cooling, reaching the low to mid-60s as the week begins.

While the wetter air helps suppress the blaze, one firefighter noted a Catch-22: The humidity actually hampers efforts to steer the fire with controlled burns of flammable vegetation.

“There's too much humidity right now. We're going to try to get this going again,” said Ventura County fire Capt. Scott Dettorre, noting the trouble firefighters were having as they tried to stoke a controlled burn on a hillside in the Thousand Oaks area. “Otherwise, you get an incomplete burn.”

More than 1,000 firefighters were battling the Springs fire, which began near Camarillo. The blaze has burned more than 28,000 acres, charring canyons and closely approaching homes in the affluent area of Hidden Valley. The fire was 30 percent contained by Saturday morning.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. 2 FBI agents shot, wounded in St. Louis area
  2. Supreme Court will hear challenge to EPA’s power-plant rules
  3. Brown family blasts prosecutor; Wilson speaks
  4. In IRS ‘rife with scandal,’ staff to receive bonuses
  5. Illegals protected by Obama in line for Social Security, Medicare, other benefits
  6. Final Benghazi report touted as ‘definitive’
  7. Premiums to rise for Obamacare’s most popular plans
  8. EPA eyes stringent air quality standards
  9. United Mine Workers responds to strike complaint
  10. Mo. governor adds guardsmen as protests continue
  11. NSA: China thefts could lead to attack
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.