L.A. County crews, helicopters contain 32-acre brush fire near Castaic

Crews quickly contain a 32-acre brush fire near Castaic

Los Angeles County fire crews quickly contained a 32-acre brush fire Saturday afternoon on a hillside on the northbound side of the 5 Freeway near Castaic.

Callers reported a blaze north of Lake Hughes Road about 2:40 p.m., said Inspector Randall Wright, of the county Fire Department. Shortly after 3 p.m., the first company on the scene saw smoke and fire spreading quickly uphill and requested reinforcements. According to news reports, the California Highway Patrol briefly shut down a portion of the freeway.



An earlier version of this post said fire department helicopters draw in water at a rate of 90 gallons per second. They can collect a full tank of water in 90 seconds.


Four helicopters and about 115 firefighters eventually joined the battle. On the ground, crews used hand tools to make a control line around the fire. From the air, helicopters took in water from nearby Castaic Lake -- filling a 1,000-gallon tank in 90 seconds -- and dumped it on the flames.

"It knocks it out," Wright said, adding that the fire was 90% contained by 3:50 p.m.

He credited favorable weather conditions -- temperatures in the 80s, relatively high humidity, and low winds -- for firefighters' rapid progress. No structures were threatened or damaged, and no injuries were reported. 

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9:37 p.m.: This post has been updated to provide the final, confirmed fire acreage.

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