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Ventura brush fire chars 22 acres; Brooks Institute briefly threatened

Brush fire near Ventura's Brooks Institute is 80% contained #wildfire

Firefighters were working Friday to put out multiple flare-ups from a brush fire that had grown to 22 acres overnight near the Brooks Institute in Ventura.

Dry vegetation and deep-rooted plants continued to smolder hours after a quick-moving fire threatened the photography and film school, as well as a nearby Southern California Edison property and an abandoned oilfield.

By Friday morning, Ventura County fire Capt. Mike Lindbery said, the blaze was 80% contained.

With Santa Ana winds and temperatures surging, firefighters planned to remain at the scene all day.

The fire began was reported at 3:53 p.m. Thursday by a witness who saw smoke in a field near the Brooks campus in the 5300 block of Ventura Avenue, said Capt. John Reilly of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

About 150 people were evacuated from the campus, and inhabitants of a nearby homeless encampment were displaced by the fire.

Arson investigators believe the fire may have been started by a campfire.

No injuries were reported, and no structures were damaged.

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