An oil field fire specialist from Texas Friday began what was expected to be a weeklong battle to extinguish a blaze raging at a drilling site in the Los Padres National Forest.

Coots Matthews, a renowned oil well firefighter from Houston, was flown to Southern California Thursday night, only hours after one of about 15 oil wells in the mountain ridges above Fillmore erupted in fire and caused up to $5 million in damages.Matthews, who has worked alongside famed oil well fire expert Red Adair and has battled hundreds of such fires for three decades, met with Seneca Resources Crop. officials Friday morning after visiting the site some 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

"A plan of action has been laid out . . . (but) the process (to put out the fire) will take at least a week," Ventura County Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Hines said.