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Local stations fight Piru fire

The blaze required assistance from L.A. and Ventura counties

Posted: August 6, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 6, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

More than 200 firefighters struggled to contain a brush fire that consumed at least 125 acres north of Lake Piru on the Ventura County line, fire officials said.

Through “an impressive” co-operative effort made on both sides of the county line, firefighters got an early jump on fighting a fire that was difficult to reach.

“It’s so remote in there our own firefighters had to hike in from Lake Piru,” Andrew Madsen, spokesman for the Los Padres National Forest Service said Sunday.

“We had to ferry them in by chopper into the area,” he said.

At least three firefighting units from the Los Angeles County Fire Department were airlifted to the fire line from a command center set up at the north end of Lake Piru, Madsen confirmed.

Crews from Ventura and Los Angeles turned out to help their Los Padres counterparts fight a stubborn fire that threatened to spread throughout the day, he said.

Firefighting units from Citrus Street in Valencia and from Station 149 in Castaic were dispatched to the scene.

Forestry fire trucks were posted to “stand by” on Hasley Canyon Road near Romero Canyon Road as the fire gained momentum in the early afternoon.

“We needed some folks who were close who could get right on it,” Madsen said.

“The help we received from Los Angeles County and Ventura County by providing crews and helicopters was great,” he said. “The cooperative effort was great to see.”

At least four water-dumping helicopters were spotted flying back and forth from Lake Piru to the fire line, scooping up lake water and dumping it on the flames.

And, when they weren’t scooping and dumping, they were transporting firefighters to the remote hilly location.

“The choppers would dip into the lake and drop their water on the fire, then shoot back to the lake for more water,” he said. “They made multiple runs.”

By late afternoon, the fire was constant but not spreading, Madsen said.

“The location and size really hasn’t changed since earlier on,” he said. “The winds are nominal and the fire’s not moving.”

jholt@the-signal.com

661-287-5527

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