Firefighting crews had nearly contained a brush fire Saturday that consumed 415 acres of forest land near the San Bernardino County community of Yucaipa.
The blaze, sparked by fireworks shortly before noon Friday, was burning through steep, brush-covered mountain slopes and canyons, San Bernardino National Forest spokeswoman Lindsay Maierhofer said.
Despite temperatures that topped 80 degrees at midnight, nearly 600 firefighters worked overnight to surround 80% of the fire by 9 a.m. Saturday. Full control was expected by noon today, Maierhofer said.
Three firefighters were injured in falls and another suffered a minor head injury.
Maierhofer said authorities had already spent $120,600 battling the blaze. Total costs were expected to rise.
7 Fires Controlled
Elsewhere in San Bernardino County, seven suspected arson fires Thursday were controlled in a small area near Devore, about 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The two largest fires together burned 255 acres, but none of the others burned more than an acre before firefighters doused the flames, Best said.
Three firefighters, including one bitten by a rattlesnake, were injured.
In San Luis Obispo County, authorities continued their search for an arsonist who set a wildfire that burned 5,050 acres.
The blaze, which erupted last Sunday in the Santa Lucia Mountains 15 miles east of San Luis Obispo, was controlled late Friday by about 900 firefighters, Los Padres National Forest spokesman Earl Clayton said.
Two firefighters, who suffered first-, second- and third-degree burns over most of their bodies were in good condition Saturday awaiting skin grafts at the Sherman Oaks Burn Center, Clayton said. Ten other firefighters suffered minor injuries.
The fire "was not accidental and it's of suspicious origin," Clayton said. The Forest Service offered a $5,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the arsonist.
Since May 1, there have been more than 40 other fires of suspicious origin in San Luis Obispo County, most of them brush fires. Authorities are offering more than $40,000 in rewards for information about the 43 fires, Clayton said.
Firefighters Saturday were close to gaining control of a major blaze on the Western slope of the Sierra.
"It's looking good out there," said California Department of Forestry fire Capt. Ralph Selby at the Calaveras County fire in the western Sierra Nevada. "I think we've got a handle on it."
The arson-caused blaze, which covered 10,820 acres of timberland, was expected to be surrounded tonight and fully controlled by Tuesday night.
Damage was estimated at $6.3 million, and Selby said the firefighting cost exceeded $5 million. There were 14 injuries.
Gov. George Deukmejian has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons who set the blaze, which destroyed six homes, nine other structures and six vehicles.
About 470 firefighters and other workers on Saturday battled a 200-acre grass fire that Friday night had threatened a dozen homes near Morgan Hill. The fire broke out in a rugged area 75 miles south of San Francisco.
The blaze was contained late Saturday with no major property loss.
Officials said the fire apparently broke out when a tractor struck a rock and sent out sparks.
Forestry Department arson investigators met Saturday at the agency's training headquarters in Central California to work out a plan to counter arsonists, who have been blamed for setting 75 brush fires in the state in the last two weeks.