Wildfire near Los Angeles destroys 4,000 acres

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 9:05 EDT
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Fire continues to spread as night falls in the Angeles National Forest on Monday. The fire began late September 2, putting an early end to Labor Day weekend camping and hiking for vacationers, who were evacuated from the area as it spread to more than 4,000 acres. (AFP Photo/David Mcnew)
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Around 700 firefighters are battling a wildfire near Los Angeles that forced the evacuation of hundreds of tourists camping over the holiday weekend, officials said.

The fire at the Angeles National Forest has consumed 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) and was just five percent contained, according to the interagency information management system InciWeb.

The rest was burning uncontrollably.

Evacuations were ordered for the entire San Gabriel Canyon, which usually sees 10,000 to 12,000 visitors during an average holiday weekend, such as the one ending Monday with Labor Day.

Local media said about 50 residents and 1,000 campers were evacuated from three camps so far.

And officials said they didn’t know when the massive blaze would stop burning through brush. The terrain is very steep, complicating the efforts of firefighters, who were assisted by six helicopters, 30 fire engines and two dozers.

“There’s no estimate of full containment,” said Robert Brady of the US Forest Service. “The fire is moving to the north-northeast toward the (Sheep Mountain) wilderness area.”

Buildings in the Camp Williams area were threatened, InciWeb said.

“Firefighters will be working throughout the day to continue to complete line construction, burn out and hold containment lines in an effort to stop the forward spread of the fire,” it added.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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