Water drops continue against LA-area wildfire

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Air crews continued to drop water on the massive wildfire still burning in the forest north of Los Angeles Sunday, in anticipation of hot, dry winds moving into the area this week.

The arson-caused fire, which erupted Aug. 26, was 93 percent contained as four helicopters dropped 80,000 gallons of water on smoldering areas in canyons in the steep San Gabriel Mountains, fire officials said.

Crews began dropping retardant Saturday near the slopes of Mount Wilson, which houses telecommunications facilities and a historic observatory.

A warming trend is predicted to bring lower humidity and Santa Ana winds of 15 to 20 mph, and that could make it harder for crews to snuff hot spots.

The fire has destroyed 89 homes, caused two firefighter deaths and scorched nearly 281 square miles.

A second Southern California wildfire that destroyed eight homes was fully contained Sunday night, said Riverside County fire Captain Fernando Herrera, and residents of about 30 evacuated homes have been allowed to return.

The blaze broke out Saturday afternoon and consumed 340 east of Temecula near Vail Lake and forced the evacuation of rural and ranch homes along Highway 79.

The fire also destroyed three outbuildings, eight vehicles, two recreational boats and a motor home, Herrera said.

One resident was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation Saturday, he said.


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