Firefighters have nearly extinguished a brush fire burning in the hills above Brand Library Park since Sunday, with officials saying Tuesday evening that the conflagration is 90% contained.
Glendale Fire Deputy Chief Greg Fish said fighting the 126-acre fire — at one point estimated to be 150-acres — was a struggle due to steep, rugged terrain. No homes or structures were damaged, through four firefighters suffered minor injuries, including two hit by falling rocks.
Brand Library and the lower part of the park reopened in the early afternoon, with access to the hiking trail nearest the park closed until Friday.
As many as 250 firefighters battled the blaze, though that number will be significantly scaled back Tuesday night and for the rest of the week, officials said.
Fish said 15 firefighters will remain on scene Tuesday night, a force he said will remain steady through the weekend. They will maintain a patrol of the burn area for at least a week to guard against flare-ups, he added.
PHOTOS: Fire crews battle flames at Brand Park on day two
Though damage to property and person was relatively small, the fire was not without drama. Shortly after the fire began at about 1 p.m. Sunday, officials rescued three hikers via airlift. Two additional hikers walked out on their own.
The blaze traveled up from Grandview Cemetery at a slow but consistent pace through the hillside, said Dan Bell, community relations coordinator for Glendale. Bell said firefighting efforts from the ground were challenging due to the “treacherous” landscape.
“The fire is burning in areas where hand crews can’t get to, nor would we want to put them in harm’s way,” he said Sunday.
The fire quickly grew from to 10 to 50 acres and nearly tripled in size by 10 p.m. that evening.
Cindy Cassidy, 43, lives about two miles south of the fire. She was at Brand Park Sunday, leaning against the stone wall at the entrance with her 9-year-old son, Cameron. They had been watching the fire for about two hours.
“I feel comfortable with their response,” she said about authorities at the scene.
Cassidy drove Cameron to Brand Park to watch the fire and crews tackle the blaze.
“He's afraid of fires. His legs were shaking and he told me, 'Don't park here' and 'Don't park too close,” she recalled. “He thought the fire was going to sweep the area.”
But that fear seemed to wane as Cameron focused his eyes on the smoke lifting from the canyon.
“It's interesting, how it moves,” he said about the smoke and pockets of flames.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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