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Springs Fire May Be Fully Contained Monday, Officials Say

Elite U.S. Forest Service Hotshot firefighters walk the blackened edge of the Springs Fire near Camarillo, California. Citing favorable weather, officials say the fire could be contained Monday.

Firefighting officials in California are optimistic that they can get more of the Springs Fire under control Sunday, as for the second day cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected to help their cause. The fire could be entirely contained by Monday, they say.

"Firefighters made progress overnight," member station KPCC reported this morning. "The Springs Fire is holding fast at 28,000 acres."

According to the state Cal Fire agency, the fire is now 60 percent contained, with "containment expected May 6th."

"Though the blaze has damaged 15 homes and five commercial buildings, no residences have been destroyed and no injuries have been reported, officials said," reports The Los Angeles Times.

The fire that first erupted in Camarillo Springs, about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, grew to cover 43 square miles before Saturday's favorable shift in the weather. And as we reported Saturday, the blaze hasn't damaged as many homes and businesses as could have been expected -- partly because of successful strategies in firefighting and home building.

As NPR's Kirk Siegler reports for our Newscast unit, Sunday's optimism doesn't mean the fire will be extinguished tomorrow -- or even this week.

"Containment simply means that a line will have been dug all the way around the perimeter of the fire, but the blaze itself is expected to still burn within it for weeks, if not months," Kirk says. "Officials in parched California are warning this could be a long and expensive fire season, one that's already off to an unusually early start."

Around California, crews are fighting four wildfires, with several others already at 100 percent containment.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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