Southern California Edison had re-energized a circuit in the area near where a brush fire broke out Thursday night in the Ventura County hills, minutes before the area erupted in flames, the utility said.
The Maria Fire continues to burn during a week that saw several destructive fires in the region.
More than 1,500 firefighters were battling flames. The fire started about 6:15 p.m. Thursday on South Mountain. It grew to over 9,400 acres and was 30% contained as of Saturday evening, with positive conditions assisting firefighters.
Initially, the winds pushed the fire toward the west as firefighters battled to keep flames away from orchards and farms.
The cause of the Maria Fire remains under investigation, but SCE said the reported location of the fire is within its service territory. The utility is required to submit an incident report to the California Public Utilities Commission when its facilities are involved in such incidents.
"While we have no information about the cause of the fire, we notified the California Public Utilities Commission on October 31 that, approximately 13 minutes prior to the fire, SCE began to re-energize a 16kV circuit near the area of the reported location of the fire after it had been de-energized pursuant to SCE's Public Safety Power Shutoff protocol," SCE said in a statement. "SCE will cooperate with the appropriate investigative agencies if asked to do so.
Some 1,800 structures were threatened and three structures were destroyed. Nearly 11,000 residents were under mandatory evacuation orders and several roads were closed, with a red flag warning that indicates high fire danger extended through 6 p.m. Saturday.
U.S. & World
All evacuation orders related the fire were lifted Saturday.
A shelter was opened at the Camarillo Community Center located at 1605 Burnley St. Camarillo, CA 93010.
- South Mountain Road between 12th Street and Balcom Canyon
- Berylwood Rd. at Aggen Rd.
- West La Loma Rd. between Center Rd and Walnut Ave.
- Price Rd. at E. Los Angeles Ave (Hwy 118)
- Clubhouse Drive at E. Los Angeles Ave. (Hwy 118)
- La Vista Ave. at W. Los Angeles Ave. (Hwy 118)
- Small animals can be accepted for shelter at the Ventura County Animal Service's Camarillo shelter.
- Large animals can be taken to the Ventura County Fairgrounds, located at 10 W. Harbor Blvd. Ventura, CA 93001, or the Earl Warren Showgrounds at 3400 Calle Real Santa Barbara, CA 93105.