US

California wildfire 75 percent contained; landslides are new concern

  • In this photo provided by Diego Topete, fire overruns the state Highway 101 near Ventura, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. The wind-whipped wildfire closed a major coastal highway in Southern California and forced dozens of homes to be evacuated, authorities said Saturday. (Diego Topete via AP)

    In this photo provided by Diego Topete, fire overruns the state Highway 101 near Ventura, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. The wind-whipped wildfire closed a major coastal highway in Southern California and forced dozens of homes to be evacuated, authorities said Saturday. (Diego Topete via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Parked on a closed US Highway 101, a Santa Barbara County Fire Department fire engine and crew douse a hot spot while working a Solimar wildfire in Ventura County, Calif. on  Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. The fire, which began on Christmas night, has charred 1,200 acres. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. via AP)

    Parked on a closed US Highway 101, a Santa Barbara County Fire Department fire engine and crew douse a hot spot while working a Solimar wildfire in Ventura County, Calif. on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. The fire, which began on Christmas night, has charred 1,200 acres. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Santa Barbara County Air Support helicopter makes a water drop while working a Solimar wildfire in Ventura County, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. The fire, which began on Christmas night, has charred more than 1,200 acres. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. via AP)

    A Santa Barbara County Air Support helicopter makes a water drop while working a Solimar wildfire in Ventura County, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. The fire, which began on Christmas night, has charred more than 1,200 acres. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of firefighters on Sunday mopped up the remnants of a wind-whipped wildfire that threatened dozens of Southern California coastal homes. Authorities said their new worry is a landslide if rain pounds the charred hills.

The fire that scorched about 1,230 acres north of Ventura was 75 percent contained, with full containment expected Tuesday, fire officials said.

The blaze erupted Friday night when high winds downed power lines on an oil field.

At its peak, the fire closed a 15-mile stretch of an adjacent, six-lane freeway, U.S. 101, and another major north-south route, the Pacific Coast Highway.

The winds eased Saturday, and the fire stopped growing. Evacuation orders for about 50 homes in Solimar Beach were rescinded.

On Sunday, about 300 firefighters were busy dousing hotspots in a stretch of coastal land that was thick with drought-dry brush.

"It's nuked — moonscaped," Ventura County fire Capt. Mike Lindbery told the Ventura County Star (http://bit.ly/1YHfObL) during a tour of the area.

In a heavy rain, the denuded soil could threaten nearby railroad tracks, U.S. 101 and the Pacific Coast Highway.

"Gravity's going to take it where it wants to go," Lindbery said, "and where it wants to go is down on the highway, across the railroad tracks and right into whatever is in its way."