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Crews Stop Forward Progress Of Cornell Fire Burning In Santa Paula

SANTA PAULA (CBSLA) — Crews were able to stop the forward progress of a brush fire that was burning in Santa Paula Monday which prompted evacuation warnings and closed multiple roads.

The Cornell Fire ignited around 11:44 a.m. in the unincorporated area of Santa Paula along the Santa Clara river bed and grew to 173 acres as of 1:46 p.m.

The fire was said to be staying within the river bottom but evacuation warnings were issued for the area surrounding Todd Road and Shell Road.

The Ventura County Fire Department was working to control the flames on the ground as well as through air attacks.

Residents were thankful for the large presence of firefighters who were prepared to tackle fires caused by the dry conditions and strong winds.
"The winds were really bad a few days ago and it started up again this morning," said homeowner Sophia Contreras.
"My wife called me," said homeowner Jess Juajardo.  "She called me and I said 'not again.'"
Neighbors on Channel Way started hosing off their homes as the Cornell Fire sent heavy smoke into the air and raced along the riverbed catching trees on fire and a few outbuildings.
"Anybody would be worried right now because with the fires you just never know," said Contreras. "Tt could start anywhere."
Contreras rushed home from work to hose down her house and wait, but thankfully firefighters were ready.
With wind gusts stronger than 50 mph, The Ventura County Fire Department brought a massive response including more than 150 firefighters, two helicopters, and three planes making drops to prevent the fire from spreading into the neighborhoods.
Last year, the Maria Fire tore through the same riverbed and the Thomas Fire in 2017 started not too far away.
"It's a routine thing said Juajardo. "If you want to live in California this is what you get. East winds, fire, earthquakes — you get it all here."
Firefighters stopped the Cornell Fire from progressing in about three hours, but with dry conditions and more winds expected, neighbors know not to get too comfortable.

Freeway access to the 126 Freeway was closed in both directions at Briggs Road. South Mountain Road was also closed.

People were asked to please avoid the area around Santa Maria between Peck and 8th Street and use alternate routes.

The red flag warning in the area is expected to last until Tuesday night. The Ventura County Fire Department has an extra 140 firefighters on duty just in case.

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