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Destructive Blaze Reported Contained

September 15, 2000|SUE FOX

Defying the watery assaults of 300 firefighters, a destructive brush fire continued its march through dry, brush-filled canyons for a second day in northern Los Angeles County before it was contained Thursday night.

The blaze started Wednesday afternoon near the Agua Dulce airport and raced over the nearby hills, destroying two homes and a large shed as it consumed almost 900 acres, said Inspector Edward Osorio of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

On Thursday morning, a fresh firefighting crew relieved the weary rescuers who had spent the night battling the fire, Osorio said. Aided by water-dropping helicopters and planes, firefighters had managed to contain most of the fire by Thursday afternoon, but some flames continued to devour brush in remote, hard-to-reach crevasses throughout the day.

"It's horrible," Osorio said, adding that the rugged hillsides buffeted by winds gusting up to 30 mph might have complicated the firefighting efforts. "But they're calling it 90% contained."

The fire has caused about $650,000 worth of property damage, destroying at least three buildings, six cars, a van, and a motorcycle, Osorio said. The blaze left a blackened path of earth and smoldering juniper trees, but residents of this sparsely populated rural area escaped unharmed. The only reported injury was to a firefighter who hurt his hand battling the fire, Osorio said.

By 7 p.m., firefighters had finally contained the blaze, said dispatch supervisor Phil Ulloa.

Meanwhile, about 300 more firefighters knocked down another large brush fire in Angeles National Forest by 8 a.m. Thursday, said Becky Tucker, a fire dispatcher for the U.S. Forest Service.

That fire, sparked Wednesday afternoon by a burning truck on the Golden State Freeway, charred 425 acres north of Castaic. No one was injured and no structures were damaged, Tucker said.

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