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Firefighters expect to have full control of Silver fire, Sharp fire

August 11, 2013|By Joel Rubin
  • A gnome stands at the entrance of a burned-out home on Aug. 9 in the Poppet Flats neighborhood, after the Silver fire burned 26 homes and seriously injured one person.
A gnome stands at the entrance of a burned-out home on Aug. 9 in the Poppet… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Hundreds of firefighters maintained the upper hand over two wildfires Sunday, as officials announced they expect fire crews will have both blazes fully contained in the next few days.

By Sunday afternoon, firefighters had managed to keep the Silver fire in Riverside County from growing significantly and were continuing in their effort to contain it by digging fire break lines around its perimeter, said Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson, a spokeswoman for the state's Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The blaze, which began Wednesday, has destroyed 26 homes and burned nearly 20,000 acres of dry, rugged land south of Banning. One person suffered serious burn injuries in the fire, which also caused minor injuries to a handful of others. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Assuming there are no dramatic changes in the current weather conditions, Hutchinson said fire officials expect to have the fire fully contained — meaning creating a break line around the entire fire — by Monday.

Sunday morning offered the chance for many residents the first opportunity to return to their homes — or the plot of charred land where their homes used to stand — since being forced to evacuate.

"It's been a real tough day for a lot of people," Hutchinson said.

In the Angeles National Forest, fire officials tallied 163 acres burned in the Sharp fire, said Ryan Carey, a forest spokesman.

That fire, which has claimed no homes, was about three-quarters contained, and officials were expecting it to be fully contained by Tuesday, Carey said.

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Twitter: @joelrubin

joel.rubin@latimes.com

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