Large Southern California wildfire is 30 percent contained

May 4, 2013 at 1:01 PM

VENTURA, Calif., May 4 (UPI) -- A wildfire that has charred tens of thousands of acres in Southern California was 30 percent contained Saturday morning, officials said.

A sharp drop in temperatures aided firefighters, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The fire -- in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles -- had damaged 15 homes while spreading over 30,000 acres since it was reported Thursday, but it threatened thousands of homes, and evacuation orders for some areas remained in effect Saturday.

Strong Santa Ana winds and high temperatures fueled the fire and others in the region.

Forecasters said high temperatures would reach the upper 60s and lower 70s Saturday after peaking at 96 degrees Friday. The National Weather Service predicted a 10 percent chance of rain Saturday evening, rising to 50 percent Sunday night and Monday.

The weather service lifted red flag warnings Friday evening.

The Springs fire raced through the Santa Monica Mountains, crossed the Pacific Coast Highway and was expected to reach the Pacific Ocean.

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