Fire north of Los Angeles is 60 pct. controlled

Washington, May 5 (EFE).- The fire that has consumed more than 11,000 hectares (27,500 acres) north of Los Angeles since late last week has been 60 percent brought under control, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced Sunday.

Mike Parkes, the assistant director of the department, said that fire activity in the area has dropped in a "dramatic" manner.

Thanks to a falloff in temperatures and in local winds, authorities expect that the fire, known as the "Spring Fire," will be fully under control by Monday.

Since it broke out last Thursday, the blaze has spread along the coast north of Los Angeles, spurred by winds of more than 70 kilometers (43 miles) per hour, and it has threatened the Pacific Highway, the highway running along the Pacific coast, one stretch of which was cut off by the flames for a few hours on Friday.

About 4,000 homes were evacuated in the towns of Thousand Oaks and Camarillo in Ventura County.

More than 950 firefighters have been deployed to battle the flames.

Although it appears that most of the risk stemming from the current fire has passed, the blaze has pointed up the risk of what could occur when summer comes, given the scanty rain in the Los Angeles region - less than half the regular amount - since the first of the year.

The lack of rain has put the region into a situation where there is a "definitive" tendency for such fires to break out, said NASA meteorologist William Patzert.