TUJUNGA — Firefighters worked through the night Thursday to control a fire that charred more than 250 acres of brush near the Foothill Freeway and forced the evacuation of about 150 homes.
In the first local use of a new firefighting tool, ground crews sprayed a fire-retardant foam called Barricade Gel on about a dozen homes to protect them from the blaze, which officials believe was set by an arsonist.
The fire began about noon near the La Tuna Canyon Road offramp and forced closure of the freeway's westbound lanes until about 8 p.m.
Although flames came close to hillside homes worth more than $300,000, none burned and no one was injured, said Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
Residents on Tranquil Drive, Hillhaven Avenue and Reverie Road were evacuated but allowed to return by 3:30 p.m., said Steve Ruda, another Fire Department spokesman.
More than 450 firefighters from Glendale, Pasadena, Ventura County, the U.S. Forest Service and Los Angeles city and county battled the blaze. It was expected to be out by 7 a.m. today, Humphrey said. He urged potential witnesses to call arson investigators at (213) 485-6095.