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Brush fire in Orange County fully contained as evacuations lifted

Brush fire in Orange County fully contained as evacuations lifted
A firefighting helicopter makes a water drop on a wildfire burning in the hills around Idaho Street in La Habra. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Fullerton firefighters were busy Wednesday morning looking for hotspots and surveying the aftermath of a brush fire that raced near homes in La Habra and briefly forced residents to flee, officials said.

The Risner fire broke out in West Coyote Hills, bordering La Habra and Fullerton, about 4 p.m. Tuesday and pushed northwest toward residents, forcing the evacuation of about 40 homes, authorities said.

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The fire burned through 80 acres and drew in firefighters from Los Angeles County, the Orange County Fire Authority and the Fullerton Fire Department. The blaze was 70% contained hours after it started, and residents were allowed to return to their homes by 8 p.m.

On Wednesday morning, the fire was 100% contained, said Fullerton Fire Deputy Chief Julie Kunze. Now an investigation into what started the blaze begins, she said.

The fire came amid record-setting heat sweeping across the Southland. Severe weather triggered flash floods in San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County's Antelope Valley, where lightning strikes also started brush fires.

Farther north, a fire burning since the middle of August neared 100,000 acres in size. The Rough fire has burned more than 97,000 acres and was 31% contained, according to a U.S. Forest Service update Tuesday night.

The blaze had a resurgence earlier this week and pushed southeast, forcing the Fresno County Sheriff's Office to issue evacuation notices for residents in Summit Meadow, Goins Ranch, Marvin Pass, Kings Canyon Lodge, Kennedy Meadows and the Hume Lake area. The area is blanketed in smoke.

Despite the blaze, Highway 180 remains open.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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