Fire crews gain ground in high desert north of Los Angeles as hills smolder from 2-day blaze

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Crews gain ground on wildfire north of Los Angeles

PALMDALE, Calif. — Higher humidity and lower temperatures helped firefighters nearly contain a wildfire smoldering Sunday in the high desert north of Los Angeles.

The fire charred nearly 22 square miles of brush in the Antelope Valley. It was 87 percent contained Sunday, and crews hoped to have it fully surrounded by Monday evening, Los Angeles County Inspector Don Kunitomi said.

All roads were reopened at sunrise Sunday.

The fire was believed to have been sparked Thursday afternoon in the Agua Dulce area by someone working on a car wheel.

Four homes and five outbuildings were destroyed.

Los Angeles County Fire crews aided by a pair of water-dropping helicopters quickly knocked down a smoky wildfire that burned Sunday along the north edge of the 101 Freeway in Calabasas. Officials said it charred about 12 acres of heavy brush after being reported around noon. No structures were threatened but traffic in both directions slowed down significantly because of heavy smoke visible from much of the San Fernando Valley.

To the south in rural San Diego County, a wildfire sparked Saturday that has burned about 110 acres of heavy brush near Julian was nearly surrounded.

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