CAMARILLO, Calif. - [4:52 p.m. PDT update] - The Grade Fire is now 100 percent contained according to the Ventura County Fire Department. All units but one have been released. The remaining fire crew will be there until the early evening for a final watch.
[6:00 a.m. PDT update] The Grade Fire is 80% contained with the burn reaching a span of 50 acres. No structures have been threatened. 44 firefighters remained at the scene mopping up hot spots overnight.
[8:15 p.m. PDT update] - The Grade Fire has spread to 50 acres and is currently 30 percent contained. Ventura County Fire said the fire appears to be accidental but the exact is under investigation.
Firefighters battled a brush fire that broke out just south of Camarillo Springs Road on U.S. Highway 101 shortly after 2:30 p.m. this Fourth of July.
The fire reportedly began burning on both sides of the freeway with heavy smoke and flames blanketing the area. Video taken by Emily Silver confirms the smoke motorists had to deal with as they traveled through the area. See video below.
The Grade Fire, as it has been named, burned approximately 45-46 acres according to the Ventura County Fire Department. The fire is 35 percent contained as of Tuesday evening.
Firefighters called on aircraft to fight the blaze from above. No structures were threatened. There is currently a smoke advisory for Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park.
Camarillo Grove Park, located at 6968 E Camarillo Springs Road, was evacuated of approximately 75 visitors and the road to the park was closed off to the public, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.
At least one of the freeway lanes was closed to motorists. The California Highway Patrol advised motorists to take state Route 118 as an alternate route.
There was at least 100 emergency personnel on scene at the peak of the fire. As of 6 p.m., the remaining crews will spend the better part of the night working on putting out hot spots and flare ups, according to Steve Swindle, Public Information Officer with the Ventura County Fire Department.
It's unknown what caused the fire and fire officials are still investigating. However, a NewsChannel 3 reporter covering the story said she was told by park officials that they were looking into a report of individuals playing with fireworks prior to the fire.
"Fireworks are dangerous. It's drier and drier out there. All it takes is one spark," said Swindle.
The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted, "According to arson investigator, fire was most likely accidental. Exact cause still under investigation."
We will update this story when new information becomes available.
Fire on the 101NB heading into Camarillo! pic.twitter.com/yk6iYHz3y7— Emily Silver (@EmilySilver29) July 4, 2017