Fire Near L.A. Claims 18 Homes and Two Firefighters

"The giant fire in Angeles National Forest continued its slow-motion rampage through the mountains Sunday, causing the deaths of two firefighters as it bore down on the semirural community of Acton and threatened to overrun Mt. Wilson.

The two firefighters were killed when they drove off the side of a treacherous road in the Mt. Gleason area, south of Acton, around 2:30 p.m., said Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Mike Bryant. They were later identified as Arnaldo Quinones, 35, of Palmdale and Tedmund Hall, 47, of San Bernardino County. ...

The fire had churned through more than 42,500 acres of chaparral and forest, from the edge of metropolitan Los Angeles up to pine-clad ridges and down toward the Mojave desert. More than 12,500 homes were threatened and 6,600 were under mandatory evacuation orders Sunday night. Eighteen residences have been destroyed, fire officials said, mostly in the Big Tujunga Canyon area.

The fire was 5% contained, officials said, and at least temporarily eased off the foothill communities from La Cañada Flintridge to Altadena."

Jessica Garrison, Alexandra Zavis, and Joe Mozingo report for the Los Angeles Times August 31, 2009.

See Also:

"Air Quality Worsens Near Southern Calif. Wildfire" (AP)
 

Monday, August 31, 2009