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Nighttime water drops help in fight against 250-acre brush fire near Ojai

Nighttime aerial drops helped firefighters in their battle against a more-than-250-acre wildfire burning in the Los Padres National Forest near Ojai.

The Chorro fire started at 1:20 p.m. Sunday in the area of Highway 33 and the Chorro Grande Trail, forcing evacuation orders for nearby campgrounds.

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Aircraft dumped water over the fire Sunday night as flames scorched 250 to 300 acres of chaparral and pines, said Andrew Madsen, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman. Aerial firefighting crews with GPS equipment are hoping to map out the fire perimeter.

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The area had not burned in several years and much of the woodlands were dry, so the nighttime water-dropping flights were “very effective” in stopping the fire from spreading, he said.

“We are doing everything we can to hold it,” Madsen said.

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Weather conditions were favorable Monday, but heat was still a concern for firefighters’ safety, he added.

Highway 33 remained closed at Lockwood Valley Road on the north to Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center on the south.

Reyes Peak Campground and Pine Mountain Campground were evacuated.

For breaking California news, follow @VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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