California Brush Fire Grows to 1,200 Acres

PHOTO: John EPN-431 posted this photo to Instagram on Dec. 26, 2015 with the caption, "Photos from the #SolimarFire in Ventura,CA."PlayJohn EPN-431/Instagram
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A brush fire in Ventura County, California, has burned roughly 1,200 acres and forced some mandatory evacuations.

As of 5 pm PT Saturday, the fire is now 60 percent contained and that crews have continued to make progress in mopping up hot spots, according to the County of Ventura Emergency Information.

As many as 600 firefighters were fighting the blaze by air and ground, according to Ventura County Fire Department public information officer Captain Mike Lindbery. The fire was burning along U.S. 101 near Solimar Beach and forced the closure of a portion of the highway, reported ABC affiliate KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara.

At the time, a mandatory evacuation was in place for the Solimar Beach community while a voluntary evacuation was in effect for the Faria Beach community. Both those orders have been lifted, said the County of Ventura Emergency Information.

PHOTO: John EPN-431 posted this photo to Instagram on Dec. 26, 2015 with the caption, Photos from the #SolimarFire in Ventura,CA.John EPN-431/Instagram
John EPN-431 posted this photo to Instagram on Dec. 26, 2015 with the caption, "Photos from the #SolimarFire in Ventura,CA."

Officials said Saturday they did not know how the fire started. Officials said they are working with the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, to assess damage to the freeway guardrails before they could reopen U.S. 101 to the busy holiday traffic.