A helicopter makes a water drop on a hotspot over a hill near Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Authorities have ordered evacuations of a neighborhood and a university about 50 miles west of Los Angeles where a wildfire is raging close to subdivisions. The blaze on the fringes of Camarillo and Thousand Oaks broke out Thursday morning and was quickly spread by gusty Santa Ana winds. Evacuation orders include California State University, Channel Islands. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A quickly spreading wildfire, called the Springs Fire, started burning in Ventura County, Calif., on Thursday morning. According to the Ventura County Fire Department, it has forced hundreds of evacuations. As of 6:45 p.m. PDT Friday, the fire was estimated at 28,000 acres, and it was only 20 percent contained. More than 950 firefighters have been on the scene. Overnight firefighting efforts will be concentrated in the Yerba Buena Road area.
The Pacific Coastal Highway was closed late Thursday between Las Posas and Yerba Buena.
The Ventura County Fire Department reports that recreational vehicles were ablaze in the Camarillo Springs area. More than 4,000 homes have been threatened by the wildfire and 15 have sustained damage.
Along with heat, there are gusty winds and very dry conditions in place.
According to AccuWeather Western Forecasting Expert Ken Clark, "I can't remember seeing this magnitude of Santa Ana winds this late in the year."
Winds of 30-40 mph through Thursday evening helped to quickly fan the flames of the fire.
Relative humidity dropped as low as 1-2 percent on Thursday. Vegetation is so dry it is more like it would be in the middle of the summer, Clark said.
The Los Angeles area is forecast to experience highs near the 90-degree mark through the remainder of the week.
"You're just asking for problems," Clark said.
However, there is some good news ahead in the near future.
Temperatures are forecast to throttle back over the weekend with less wind aiding firefighting efforts.
AccuWeather.com long-range weather experts are projecting a rough summer for heat, drought and wildfires over a large part of the West.
Thumbnail image: Smoke billows over U.S. 101 near Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Authorities have ordered evacuations of a neighborhood and a university about 50 miles west of Los Angeles where a wildfire is raging close to subdivisions. The blaze on the fringes of Camarillo and Thousand Oaks broke out Thursday morning and was quickly spread by gusty Santa Ana winds. Evacuation orders include California State University, Channel Islands. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Content contributed by AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
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