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Guiberson fire in Moorpark expected to reach 10,000 acres today

September 23, 2009 |  9:24 am


The Guiberson fire, which has prompted the closures of two elementary schools and a community college, is expected to grow to more than 10,000 acres today due to low humidity and strong winds, said Mike Mohler, a spokesman for Cal Fire.

The fire and the resultant poor air quality have prompted the evacuation of Moorpark Community College, Walnut Canyon Elementary and Campus Canyon Elementary, Mohler said.

"We don't want these kids out, especially with those elements," he said.

Though the Santa Ana winds haven't picked up yet today, they are expected to blow from 12 mph to 22 mph in about an hour.

"We're preparing for almost an exact repeat of what we saw yesterday," said Steve Kaufman, a public information officer with the Ventura County Fire Department.

Firefighters are expecting temperatures around the 100-degree mark today as they continue to amp up efforts to control the blaze, which is 10% contained, Kaufman said. About 600 firefighters are battling the blaze.

Tuesday night, officials called for extra help, including 125 fire engines, seven air tankers and 13 helicopters. Three firefighters were injured Tuesday night. One firefighter suffered from heat exhaustion, another had an ankle injury and the third suffered from smoke inhalation, Kaufman said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Ventura County Sheriff's Department officials have said it appeared to have been started by spontaneous combustion of manure from a local ranch.

Voluntary-evacuation warnings have been issued for a few neighborhoods north of Moorpark, including Balcom Canyon, Bradley Road and areas around the college. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Ventura County.

The Ventura County fire was the largest of several blazes to break out Tuesday -- the first day of autumn,  a season marked by Santa Ana winds.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Moorpark

Photo: Cows seem unfazed this morning as smoke billows from a wildfire that burned through the night in the rural hills north of Moorpark. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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