Red Flag Fire Conditions Extended Amid SoCal Blaze

Firefighters expect full containment Thursday night as they face strong wind gusts northwest of Los Angeles

As firefighters gained ground on a wind-driven brush fire in Simi Valley, a red flag fire alert was extended through Friday monring as hot, dry conditions continue.

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The Lilac Fire broke out at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday near the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway and the Santa Susana and Rocky Peak overpasses, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

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At one point, the fire threatened about 20 homes. About 300 Los Angeles and Ventura county firefighters were working to control the blaze, which was being fueled by Santa Ana winds with gusts up to 35 mph, officials said.

The wind and dry brush made for dangerous conditions as officials called for a red flag fire warning.

"The winds are almost blowing us over," said Ventura County Fire Capt. Mike Lindberry. "If we get any heat escaping from that fire and into the fuel bed, the fuel beds are very receptive -- we call in 90-percent chance of ignition. If we have an ember blow out, it has a 90-percent chance of igniting and starting a new fire.

"We normally have a lot of green grasses starting to come up this time of year -- it's not happening."

Containment was at 80 percent Thursday.

The fire was about 10 acres Thursday morning.
 

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